University of Virginia
The Rotunda at U.Va.
2004-2005
GRADUATE RECORD
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
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Course Descriptions

Program in Health Evaluation Sciences

UVa Health System
P.O. Box 800717
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0717
(434) 924-8646 Fax: (434) 924-8437
ms-hes@virginia.edu
http://healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/hes

Requirements

Admission For both the Master of Science in Health Evaluation Sciences (M.S.) and the Master in Public Health (M.P.H.), applicants must possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Students who hold a M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., J.D., or D.V.M. from an accredited American university are exempt from the GRE/MCAT requirement. Applications must be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with supporting transcripts and recommendations as described in the application packet. Those whose first language is not English must pass the TOEFL with a score of at least 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test).

Master of Science in Health Evaluation Sciences

The Master of Science in Health Evaluation Sciences is a 31-credit program designed to be completed in one year, although part-time options spanning two or more years are also available. Students choose one of two tracks (or focus areas): clinical investigation & patient-oriented research or informatics in medicine & health. Details concerning each track are available from the department. The program includes a core curriculum, a set of core electives, and courses specific to each track.

A thesis (resulting in a publishable manuscript) or a practicum project under the direct supervision of a HES faculty advisor is required of all students. It may be a grant proposal, a project linked to the student’s job, or a practicum with a local health organization or research team. Upon completion, an oral presentation of the work before the HES faculty is required.

Departmental Core Courses:

Fall

HES 700

Intro. to Biostatistics

4

HES 701

Fundamentals of Epidemiology

3

HES 745

Database Design and Implementation

3

HES Core Electives

HES 707

Health Care Informatics

3

HES 709

Health Care Economics

3

HES 710

Health Care Policy and Management

3

Clinical Investigation & Patient-Oriented Research Track

Objectives This track teaches students to apply the basic sciences of clinical investigation (including measurement, data analysis, computing) and clinical trials design, execution, and interpretation. Graduates are qualified to direct and evaluate clinical research and become effective clinical scientists.

Prerequisites A bachelor’s degree in biological or social sciences, or relevant experience.

Fall

Departmental core courses

10

Core Electives

3

Electives

3

Departmental core contains a 1-credit course statistical language component.

Spring

HES 750

Introduction to Biostatistics II

3

Choose 2:

 

HES731

Clinical Trials Methodology

3

HES 712

Health Technology and Outcomes Evaluation

3

Or another approved elective

Thesis or Project (choose one option):

Thesis

5

Or

 

Practicum

2

Choose one elective with practicum

3

Informatics in Medicine and Health Track

Objectives This track teaches students to understand, measure, and improve health services using health information and health data.

Prerequisites A bachelor’s degree in biological, economic, or social sciences, or relevant experience.

Fall

Departmental core courses

10

HES 707

Health Care Informatics

3

Choose 1:

   

HES 709

Health Care Economics

3

HES 710

Health Care Policy & Management

3

Spring

HES741

Health Care Database Management

3

HES 743

Applied Informatics in Medicine and Health

3

HES 720

U.S. Healthcare Policy, Organization, &

 
 

Administration

 
 

Or

 

HES 795

Statistical Bioinformatics in Medicine

 

Thesis or Project (choose one option):

 
 

Thesis

5

 

Or

 
 

Practicum

2

Choose one elective with practicum

3

Master of Public Health

The Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) is an interdisciplinary professional degree offered individually or jointly with other professional degrees. It is designed to provide an understanding of the public health sciences, knowledge, and skills that are used in public health practice, population-based research, and health care policy and management. The program draws upon the strengths of UVa faculty within the Schools of Medicine, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Law, Education, and Architecture, as well as the larger university community. While the M.P.H. degree is designed to meet national accreditation requirements, it provides flexibility for students to tailor the program to their particular interests. After completing a core set of courses basic to public health, students pursue advanced coursework in a particular track and choose a concentration for their fieldwork or research from a variety of topics and areas of study. The program features courses in public health law and ethics.

Degree Requirements

As defined by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), the Accreditation Criteria for the M.P.H. degree include the following: course work in five core areas of public health; additional course work in an area of concentration; and a field placement and a "culminating" experience that require students to synthesize and integrate knowledge from coursework and public health field work.

Core Areas The core courses provide the basic skills and knowledge necessary for public health. The CEPH Accreditation Criteria for the M.P.H. degree require at least one course in each of the following five core areas:

  1. Biostatistics: collection, storage, retrieval, analysis and interpretation of health data; design and analysis of health-related surveys and experiments; and concepts and practice of statistical data analysis;
  2. Epidemiology: distributions and determinants of disease, disabilities and death in human populations; the characteristics and dynamics of human populations; and the natural history of disease and the biologic basis of health;
  3. Environmental health sciences: environmental factors including biological, physical and chemical factors that affect the health of the community;
  4. Health services administration: planning, organization, administration, management, evaluation and policy analysis of health programs; and
  5. Social and behavioral sciences: concepts and methods of social and behavioral sciences relevant to the identification and the solution of public health programs.

M.P.H. Field Placement (HES 889, 890) Each student must complete a planned, supervised and evaluated practical experience. Practical knowledge and skills are considered an important component of a public health professional degree program; students must apply the knowledge and skills acquired through their courses of study. Placement opportunities will be available with a wide a range of community agencies, including local and state public health agencies in the program’s geographic area, and federal agencies. Students may request an alternative to the traditional M.P.H. field placement based on well-defined criteria. The possession of a prior professional degree in another field or prior work experience that is not closely related to the academic objectives of the student’s degree program would not be sufficient reason for changing the Field Placement requirement.

M.P.H. Culminating Experience (HES 893, 894) Students must complete a culminating experience that requires them to synthesize and integrate knowledge acquired in course work and other learning experiences and to apply theory and principles in a way that approximates some aspect of professional practice. Different models are possible, including written or oral comprehensive examinations, supervised practice placements, a major paper such as a thesis or an applied research project, or the development of case studies.

Required Courses and Tracks

The M.P.H. degree program requires students to complete 42 credits of course work: at least 24 credits of required courses; 12 credits of course work in a track or concentration; and the remaining credits in electives.

Each student accepted into the M.P.H. program will identify a concentration and develop an individualized course of study with their advisor (and approved by an M.P.H. faculty steering committee) that addresses the student’s professional interests, needs, and goals.

Students also will complete 9 credits to satisfy the field placement and culminating experience.

Core Courses

  1. Epidemiology (HES 701 & 702) - 2 courses
  2. Biostatistics (HES 700) - 1 course
  3. Environmental Health (EVSC 796): 1 course
  4. Health Policy/Health Administration (HES 710): 1 course
  5. Social and Behavioral Sciences (GNUR 702 ): 1 course

Other Required Courses

  1. Supplemental Quantitative Course: 1 course

    (From among the following: HES 750 Introduction to Biostatistics II; HES 741 Health Care Database Management; HES 745 Database Design & Implementation; HES 706 Evaluation Methods in Public Health & Health Care Informatics; HES 707 Health Care Informatics; HES 709 Health Care Economics)

  2. Public Health Law and Ethics (HES 705) : 1 course

Course Descriptions

BACK TO TOP

HES 700 - (4) (Y)
Introduction to Biostatistics
Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program or instructor permission.
Covers the fundamentals in medical statistics including descriptive statistics, estimation, hypothesis testing, precision, sample size, correlation, problems with categorization of continuous variables, multiple comparison problems, and interpreting of statistical results. Cross-listed as STAT 500.

HES 701 - (3) (Y)
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program or instructor permission.
Introduces the field of Epidemiology and the methods of epidemiologic research. Students learn how to interpret, critique, and conduct epidemiologic research, including formulating a research question, choosing a study design, collecting and analyzing data, controlling bias and confounding, and interpreting study results.

HES 702 - (3) (Y)
Applied Epidemiologic Methods
Prerequisite: HES 701 or instructor permission.
Surveys the epidemiology of different infectious and chronic diseases, covering their natural history, clinical course, and risk factors. Students apply this knowledge to a disease of interest to them and write a research proposal to address their topic.

HES 705 - (3) (Y)
Germs, Guns, & Lead: Public Health Ethics and Law
Required fall course for Community & Public Health track. Explores the legitimacy, design, and implementation of a variety of policies aiming to promote public health and reduce the social burden of disease and injury. Highlights the challenge posed by public health’s population-based perspective to traditional individual-centered, autonomy-driven approaches to bioethics and constitutional law. Other themes center on conflicts between public health and public morality and the relationship between public health and social justice. Illustrative topics include mandatory immunization, screening and reporting of infectious diseases, prevention of lead poisoning, food safety, prevention of firearm injuries, airbags and seat belts, mandatory drug testing, syringe exchange programs, tobacco regulation, and restrictions on alcohol and tobacco advertising.

HES 706 - (3) (Y)
Evaluation Methods in Public Health & Health Care Informatics
Provides an overview of the principles and methods of evaluation in public health and health informatics. Covers evaluation paradigms, program planning, evaluation plan design, and use of evaluation findings. Frequent tools in evaluation (surveys, focus groups, and interviews) will be discussed in depth. Students will have the opportunity to design and conduct an evaluation for an existing program in public health or application in health informatics.

HES 707 - (3) (Y)
Health Care Informatics
Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program or instructor permission.
Explores nature and functions of health informatics, the current state of the science, present and future applications, and major issues for research and development. Includes information processing and management, decision support, computer-based patient records and information systems, standards and codes, databases, outcomes research, and the generation and management of knowledge. Also surveys current developments in instructional technology. Cross-listed as GNUR 707.

HES 708 - (3) (Y)
International Health Policy
Addresses the questions of what makes a good health system, how we know whether a health system is performing well, and what makes a health system fair through a comparison of the financing, delivery, and operation of health systems throughout the world. Focuses on differences both in health system performance (as measured by death, disability, morbidity, access, and patient satisfaction) and in health system inputs.

HES 709 - (3) (Y)
Health Care Economics
Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program or instructor permission.
Reviews principles of economics most relevant to analyzing changes in health care provision and applies those principles to current health care institutions and their performance, trends in health care service delivery, and methods of forecasting future trends.

HES 710 - (3) (Y)Health Care Policy and Management
Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program or instructor permission.
Focuses on the evolution of the American health care system from a health policy and values perspective, with emphasizing the current health care system. Reviews unsuccessful legislative attempts to implement a national health program and discusses current issues surrounding the financing and delivery of health care under a managed care framework.

HES 711 - (3) (IR)
Survey Research Methods
Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program or instructor permission.
Covers the theory and practice of survey research. Topics include surveys as a scientific method; sampling theory; the construction, testing, and improvement of survey instruments; interviewer training; the organization of field work; coding and data quality control; data analysis; and the preparation of survey reports. Cross-listed as SOC511.

HES 712 - (3) (Y)
Health Technology and Outcomes Evaluation
Prerequisite: HES700, 701, and 703 or instructor permission.
Introduces students to the techniques needed for the evaluation of health outcomes from the perspectives of the patient, the physician, the health care provider, and society. Presents measurement and evaluation of survival, functional status, quality of life, and health values. Evaluates the efficacy, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of devices, interventions, and processes of care.

HES 718 - (3) (Y)
The Practice of Public Health

Prerequisite: graduate standing in the M.S.-H.E.S. program.
Weekly lectures by guest speakers in the field of public health that will help M.P.H. students learn about opportunities in the field and prepare for their own field placement. Speakers will vary depending on availability and topical issues in public health.

HES 720 - (3) (Y)
U.S. Healthcare: Policy, Organization, and Administration
Prerequisite: HES 709, 710, or acceptable substitute in health policy, economics or financing or instructor permission.
Examines the U.S. health care system from health policy, health systems, and health administration perspectives, with an emphasis on current challenges facing the financing, administration, and delivery of health services. Using a case-based method, the course will employ lecture, discussion, and student-led group projects that encourage analysis of real-world scenarios in today’s complex health and medical environments.

HES 731 - (3) (Y)
Clinical Trials Methodology
Prerequisite: HES 700 or equivalent.
Covers the design and analysis of Phase I-III clinical trials. Topics include choice of study population and endpoints, choice of study design and sample size estimation, randomization and masking, patient recruitment, data collection and quality control, data monitoring committees, data analysis, and the interpretation and reporting of results. Cross-listed as STAT 531.

HES 741 - (3)(Y)
Health Care Database Management
Prerequisite: HES 700 or equivalent; some knowledge of SAS.
Introduces theories and practice of database management in health care and health sciences. This knowledge is integral to health informatics as a support for clinical practice, management, and research.

HES 743 - (3) (Y)
Applied Informatics in Medicine and Health
Prerequisite: HES 707 or equivalent.
Uses a case-based approach to analyze and discuss informatics techniques and tools as they apply to real-world challenges in the modern health care arena. Student participation and presentations required.

HES 745 - (3) (Y)
Database Design and Implementation
Introduces the basic principles of database design, focusing on databases that support clinical practice and/or investigation. Topics include an introduction to basic database types, DBMS functionality, modeling approaches (with a focus on E-R modeling), normalization, using SQL, and an overview of available DBMSs and design tools. Course methods include a mix of lecture format, small-group discussion, and hands-on activities.

HES 746 - (1) (Y)
SAS Fundamentals
Prerequisite: HES 745 or instructor permission.
As the laboratory component to HES 700 or a —credit class, HES 746 will introduce students to the fundamentals of SAS.

HES 750 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Biostatistics II
Prerequisite: HES 700 or instructor permission.
This course is a continuation of Introduction to Biostatistics I. Areas covered will include: categorical data analysis; regression and correlation methods; multisample inference; logistic regression; time-to-event data analysis, and other advance biostatistical methods.

HES 795 - (3) (Y)
Statistical Bioinformatics in Medicine
Provides an introduction to bioinformatics and discusses important topics in computational biology in medicine, particularly based on modern statistical computing approaches. Reviews state-of-the-art high-throughput biotechnologies, their applications in medicine, and analysis techniques. Requires active student participation in various discussions on the current topics in biotechnology and bioinformatics.

HES 885, 886 - (1) (Y)
M.P.H. Field Placement Preparation

HES 888 - (1-12) (Y)
Field Project (Practicum)

HES 889, 890 - (1-10) (Y)
M.P.H. Field Placement

HES 891, 892 - (1-12) (Y)
Topical Research (Thesis only)

HES 893, 894 - (1-10) (Y)
M.P.H. Culminating Experience

HES 895 - (3) (Y)
Supervised Clinical Research I

HES 896 - (3) (Y)
Supervised Independent Research I

HES 897, 898 - (1-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research


 
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