Spring 2017

Congratulations, 2017 COPHP Graduates!

8 Jun 2017

Photo: Graduating COPHP students Carolanne Sanders and Hena Parveen

Congratulations to the COPHP graduating Class of 2017!! Thank you for a lovely graduation celebration on June 8 from 4:00-7:00pm at the Walker Ames room in Kane Hall. Event photos are posted here.

Gabe Cortez Studies Native American Students in STEM

17 May 2017

First-year COPHP student Gabe Cortez shares his poster, "Understanding the Dialectic of Adversity and Resilience in Success in Native American Students in STEM," at the 16th Annual Symposium of Native and Indigenous Scholarship at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Hosted by the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars (NOIS) on May 17th, this year's theme was 'Stories of Resistance from Indigenous People.'

Stephen Bezruchka Delivers First Annual Gelfand Lecture

4 May 2017

COPHP faculty member Dr. Stephen Bezruchka delivered the First Annual Gelfand Lecture at UW on May 4, 2017. The title of his lecture was "Health and Healthcare: What's the Difference?"

We in the United States spend over half of the world's health care bill yet die younger than people in over thirty other countries. Medical care turns out to be a relatively small determinant of the health of societies. Attention to early life when perhaps half of our health as adults is programmed matters, as does socioeconomic status and economic inequality. Medical doctors need to understand population health and treat sick societies as well as sick people.

View Dr. Bezruchka's talk here.

COPHP Alum Alejandro Varela Public Health Short Story in Blunderbuss

4 May 2017

COPHP graduate Alejandro "Alex" Varela (2006) is a writer living in New York City. His new short story dealing with public health themes, "She and Her Kid and Me and Mine," has been published online in Blunderbuss Magazine. Read the full story here.

ASPPH Friday Letter Promotes COPHP's New PBL Book

28 Apr 2017

The April 28th edition of the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) Friday Letter includes a piece on COPHP's new book, Experiential Teaching for Public Health Practice, which is available for free download online.

Discussing the merits of the problem-based learning (PBL) approach, COPHP Program Director Amy Hagopian says:

“We’d really like other schools to try this, and not just in public health. We think higher education should be moving in this direction.”

The full piece may be viewed online here.

Which Degree Is Right for Me? 5/4/17 Event

4 May 2017

Which Public Health Graduate Degree

Is Right for Me?

Date: 5/4/17, 5:30-7:30pm

Location: South Campus Center, Room 303

Learn more about Health Services graduate programs from current students in the following programs:

Join us for a panel followed by small group break-out sessions. Pizza will be served.

Please follow this link to RSVP. 

SPH Article Features COPHP's Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Method

26 Apr 2017

Photo: Genya Shimkin (MPH '13), founder and project lead, Q Card Project, LLC

A new article by the University of Washington's School of Public Health features COPHP's use of problem-based learning (PBL) methods. The article profiles COPHP alum Genya Shimkin, and includes interviews with several COPHP faculty, students and alumni.

Commenting on COPHP's new book on PBL, Experiential Teaching for Public Health Practice, co-author Bud Nicola states:

“It's very difficult to move from a lecture-based model into something that's very active like problem-based learning... It takes a lot of courage, and it takes some guidance. This book provides the guidance."

Read the full article here.

Second-Year Students Present on PBL at Teaching & Learning Symposium

24 Apr 2017

Photo (from left):Ryann Martinek, Program Director Amy Hagopian, Wyatt Pickner, Alexis Maister, Sara Mackenzie, Deb Hinchey, and Francesca Collins

Second-year COPHP students Francesca Collins, Alexis Maister, and Ryann Martinek presented their poster on COPHP's didactic method, problem-based learning (PBL), at the UW's April 24th Teaching and Learning Symposium.


Problem Based Learning in Practice: A Case Study

Francesca Collins, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services, Community-Oriented Public Health Practice Program, UW Seattle

Poster Abstract:

"Students in the University of Washington’s Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) degree program will present a real case used fall quarter in our program’s health policy course. For this case, all 25 students researched the policy aspects of early childhood education. Groups of 8-9 students worked on separate case deliverables: a legislative Health Impact Review; a recommendation to lawmakers about what to include in preschool legislation; and a policy statement for the American Public Health Association. We learned about the importance of early childhood education in relation to physical, mental, social, and economic benefits. We learned how to navigate and influence policymakers on a local, state, and national level through written communication and oral presentation.

This case exemplifies how Problem-Based Learning (PBL) can be used as an effective adult teaching practice (Vernon & Blake, 1993). In COPHP, faculty teach entirely through PBL case studies to encourage student-centered learning that deepens the understanding of public health topics in tangible ways. PBL is also employed widely in other fields as a beneficial pedagogy for all learners (Dechambeau & Ramlo, 2017; Argaw 2017). This educational style is aligned with principles of constructivism – understanding that it can increase students’ “motivation, encouragement to set goals, [and] think critically about decision making in day-to-day operations” (Preeti et al, 2013). This self-directed, collaborative, and contextual learning is especially helpful for students, prompting the development of lifelong skills for practical application in the workforce (Dechambeau & Ramlo, 2017; Knowles, 1975).

A meta-analysis of PBL programs from 1970-1992 shows PBL outscores non-PBL programs on test scores, faculty attitudes, student mood, class attendance, academic process variables, and measures of humanism (Vernon & Blake, 1993). PBL is an educational strategy employed in many learning environments due to its effective promotion of critical thinking, practical learning, and intellectual stimulation and curiosity (Argaw, 2017; Preeti et al, 2013). In this presentation, students in a PBL-based program will demonstrate the merit of the pedagogy and encourage others to adopt its approaches."

Alum Amanda Morse Passes New Bill on Syndromic Surveillance Data Reporting

10 Apr 2017

A bill (SSB 5514) supported by alumna Amanda Lynn Morse just passed out of the Washington State House and will be signed by Governor Inslee in the next week or so. Dr. Wayne Turnberg is the Director of the Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology and has overseen the effort.

The bill mandates the automated electronic reporting of syndromic surveillance data from Washington State emergency departments to the Department of Health. Although we currently receive this data, federal Meaningful Use incentive funding for participating facilities ends in 2021 and the legislation protects public health’s access to the only source of emergency department data in the state.

Follow this bill's status here.

Congratulations, Amanda!

COPHP Faculty Katie Bell Appointed to Group Health Community Foundation Board of Directors

9 Apr 2017

COPHP faculty member Katie Bell has been appointed as one of 16 members of the new Group Health Community Foundation board.

In the words of Acting President & CEO Cory Sbarbaro, board members were chosen for being

"experienced and respected leaders who are passionate about accelerating positive changes in health, reducing health disparities, and promoting health equity. ...who are committed to authentic community engagement, knowledgeable about the complexity of social determinants of health, and eager to make courageous investments in the community ...[and who are] innovative thinkers, collaborators, and social justice advocates."

The Group Health Community Foundation is an independent 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization with $1.7 billion to commit toward reducing health disparities and promote health in Washington and beyond. The foundation was created to carry on Group Health’s legacy of social impact after Kaiser Permanente acquired Group Health Cooperative.

Congratulations, Katie!

COPHP Program Publishes New Book on PBL Methods

10 Mar 2017

University of Washington faculty have just published Experiential Teaching for Public Health Practice, a book that reveals secrets of their successful problem-based methods of teaching. Written to help public health faculty elsewhere incorporate cases, problems and projects into their teaching, the book is authored by faculty in the UW’s Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) program. The 10-chapter book is published by Bentham Science, and includes many helpful how-to appendices with cases, manuals and other helpful examples of how to operationalize this unique way of teaching.

About a dozen years ago, UW faculty in the School of Public Health developed an MPH program that departed significantly from traditional graduate training. The program has now graduated 13 cohorts of students, with stellar results. Faculty sought a pedagogy rooted in adult learning theory and social justice that would prepare courageous problem solvers and excellent critical thinkers. They chose a problem-based learning (PBL) method to replace the lecture mode; faculty write their own cases, generate projects with community partners, and work with the local health department to provide practicum projects. 

The COPHP program requires the student’s culminating project to be conducted with a public health organization or agency. The two-year curriculum covers all the core competencies of public health while preparing public health professionals with exceptional skills in self-discovery, leadership, teamwork, and collective analysis. 

The program’s faculty and students made a commitment in 2014 to become an anti-racist program, and have been working towards that goal as part of their social justice focus. COPHP has very few dropouts, and students universally graduate on time. A recent survey of our 225 alumni received a 75% response rate, and collected a remarkable set of testimonies about how “ready to work” graduates reported they were. All but a small handful are actively employed in the public health workforce. 

The book is available for free download online. Other schools and programs are welcome to adopt elements of this approach.

For more information, contact: Amy Hagopian, COPHP Program Director, hagopian@uw.edu.


May 20, 2015 3:51 PM
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