PH301 Public Health & Health Policy (Summer, Fall)
In the United States, we spend vast resources on health care and lag behind other developed countries in measures of health. Students will examine current health issues and barriers to improving health, as well as identify credible sources of health information to understand health topics such as preventing obesity, vaccines, global tobacco use, alcohol, environmental health topics, emerging infectious diseases, and access to health care. Students will learn about the compelling need for creative and multidisciplinary solutions, and how stronger policies to improve the health of the public might be accomplished.
PH302 Epidemiology 1 (Summer, Fall)
Epidemiology methods give us a framework in which we can order these complex relationships into information that can be used to improve population health. Students will learn how to define populations and estimate the distribution of health related conditions and their determinants. We will apply epidemiology methods to surveillance, screening and study design, and understand how to assess causality and control for factors that may mask our ability to find a relationship between an exposure and a health outcome.
PH304 Environmental Public Health 1 (Fall)
Students will explore major areas of environmental public health (EPH), including environmental hazards, exposures, and related health outcomes, including emerging topics in environmental public health. Students will learn how to evaluate the burden of disease due to a particular exposure; critique an environmental public health article to make conclusions and recommendations; design questions for a brief public health survey; recognize the role of environment and environmental health organizations; write a grant proposal for a public health project.
PH308 Environmental Public Health 2 (Spring)
Building on PH304 Environmental Public Health 1, students will examine populations at higher risk for environmental health effects, as well as explore cross-cutting and emerging environmental health topics that affect global populations. Students will practice skills such as exposure assessment and risk communication that are necessary for public health practice in a variety of settings.
Prerequisite: PH304 Environmental Public Health 1
*Please note this list is subject to change based upon instructional availability. The following courses are examples of electives that have been previously offered by the UVM Public Health program.
PH312 Food Systems & Public Health (Summer)
Eating is an everyday act for most of us, one that profoundly affects our health and wellbeing. As we face an unprecedented obesity epidemic with associated chronic diseases, our food systems are becoming increasingly consolidated, globalized and complex. Students will explore food systems’ influence on public health, and how technology, policy, biology, epidemiology, and historical knowledge can support a healthier food system.
PH314 Environmental Risk & Communication (Fall)
Risk assessment is a scientific approach to identifying and quantifying risks to public health and the environment. Communicating health risk in relation to environmental issues is complicated by social, economic, political and scientific factors. This course explores theory, policy and techniques for environmental risk communication from the viewpoints of government, industry, special interest groups, and the general public.
PH315 Public Health Surveillance: Tracking Health Behaviors and Disease (Spring)
Surveillance of infectious and non-infectious diseases, as well as health behaviors and population characteristics, is fundamental to nearly all fields of modern public health practice. By definition, public health surveillance is the “ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcome-specific data for use in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice” (CDC/ATSDR). To understand the practice of surveillance, students will examine many examples of surveillance systems from the developed and developing world with emphasis on U.S. State and Federal systems.
Prerequisite: PH302 Epidemiology 1
PH319 Environmental Public Health Law and Policy (Spring)
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the major U.S. environmental public health laws and the approaches, strategies, standards, and enforcement techniques by which American law protects our environmental and our health. The focus of the course is on what law consists of, who makes it, how it is made, and how it is enforced. Students will be introduced to the major environmental laws and will evaluate issues, controversies, and developments in environmental health policy.
PH324 Public Health Informatics (Fall)
Public Health Informatics is an emerging field that seeks to employ information technology tools and methods in order to address public health challenges and improve public health practice. Because data is the currency of public health professionals, informatics is essential to successful and efficient completion of public health goals given its fundamental role in every step of the data life cycle: collection, storage, analysis, representation and dissemination.
PH325 Investigating Disease Outbreaks (Fall)
Field epidemiology is the term used for the investigation of outbreaks that are creating current, urgent health problems, and to inform the selection and implementation of appropriate interventions. In conducting such investigations, epidemiologists work with colleagues from a variety of disciplines (e.g., laboratory science, environmental health, communications, clinical medicine, governmental agencies). Students will gain insight to the importance of understanding outbreak investigation principles for health professionals working in these settings.
PH395 One Health: Zoonoses (Summer)
Zoonoses and vector-borne disease account for the majority of emerging and re-emerging diseases, and most bioterrorism agents are zoonotic. The role of other animals as reservoirs and transmitters of disease requires consideration of human, animal and environmental factors. In this course, students will examine the drivers that influence infection in animals and humans including: weather and climate, land use, biodiversity, poverty, globalization, domestication, population pressure, and anthropogenic change.
PH396 Climate Change and Human Health (Spring)
Following an introduction to climate science, this course explores the associated health risks, including respiratory disease, vector-borne disease, food-borne disease, malnutrition, mental health, and disaster-related illness. Students explore how these changing health risks vary by geography and socio-demographics resulting in differences in population vulnerabilities.
Jan Carney, MD, MPH
Associate Dean for Public Health and Professor of Medicine, UVM College of Medicine
Clinical Professor, Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences,UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Education: AB, Middlebury College, 1976; MD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1981; residency and chief residency in internal medicine, University of Vermont/Medical Center; MPH Harvard School of Public Health,1987; board-certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine
Dr. Carney served as Vermont’s commissioner of health from 1989 to 2003, for three gubernatorial administrations. During this time, she created and led the “Healthy Vermonters” initiative, credited by the Burlington Free Press with helping “make Vermonters among the healthiest of Americans and certainly among the best educated about the condition of public health in their state.” Dr. Carney is an experienced teacher, practitioner, and leader in public health. She was Vermont’s first recipient of a Local Legend Award, a collaboration between the American Medical Women’s Association and the National Library of Medicine to highlight the contribution of women physicians around the country. Recipients are nominated by members of Congress.
Lynn Zanardi Blevins, MD, MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, UVM College of Medicine
Education: BA, Drew University, 1991; MD, Medical College of Virginia 1995; MPH, Boston University, 1998
Dr. Blevins is a medical epidemiologist interested in human health within the context of broad environmental factors, including infectious agents. After completing a residency in preventive medicine, she trained at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer. Dr. Blevins has worked in the areas of infectious diseases, immunizations, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. Her areas of interest include how food systems affect public health and the relationship between the health of humans, animals, and the environment (One Health).
William C. Bress, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, UVM College of Medicine
Education: BA, C.W. Post College, 1971; MS, St. John’s University, 1978; PhD, St. John’s University, 1984
Dr. Bress has more than 40 years of experience in clinical, forensic, and environmental toxicology.
In his 26 years as state toxicologist at the Vermont Department of Health, Dr. Bress participated in many town, state, and federal public meetings dealing with environmental health issues. He has worked in clinical laboratories, crime labs, and medical examiners’ offices, and he spent 10 years as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Committee on Acute Exposure Guidelines. In addition to teaching, Dr. Bress is currently consulting on emergency-preparedness issues.
Heidi Gortakowski, MPH
Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine, UVM College of Medicine
Education: BA in Science, Technology & Society, Vassar College; MPH in Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health
After completing her degree in public health, Heidi Gortakowski accepted an applied epidemiology fellowship with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In addition to her work in HIV surveillance, Heidi focused on using GIS to map the prevalence and burden of HIV in New York. She is currently an epidemiologist at the Vermont Department of Health working in performance management. As the performance improvement manager, she oversees performance accountability and leads the department in its efforts to build infrastructure that supports the effective use of data to drive governmental decision making. Heidi sits on the advisory board for the CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship and has contributed to peer-reviewed literature in the fields of HIV, asthma, physical activity, tobacco, and workforce development.
William Wargo, Esq.
Education: AB, Columbia College; MSW, Hunter School of Social Work; JD, New York University School of Law
William Wargo served as the Vermont Health Department’s legal counsel for more than 15 years. Before that, he worked as a social worker in New York City, assisting foster children, counseling disabled veterans and initiating a creative writing group for them, providing individual and family counseling to recovering drug addicts, working with Bowery alcoholics and beginning a softball league for them, and providing emergency therapeutic services for people in crisis. As a lawyer, he has managed two legal services offices (one providing services to low-income people on New York City’s Lower East Side and the other providing services to prisoners) and served as the Winooski city attorney for 10 years. He has taught law for about 20 years at St. Michael’s College and also has taught courses on many subjects, including constitutional law, Shakespeare, sociology, and Vermont history, at Community College of Vermont.
Vicki Hart, PhD
Clinical instructor, UVM College of Medicine
Owner and Principal, Hart DataWorks LLC
Education: BS in Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University, 1999; MS in Biostatistics, University of Vermont, 2010; PhD in Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2014.
Dr. Hart is an epidemiologist and biostatistician interested in using data and statistical analysis to support healthcare and other organizations in improving public health in our communities. Dr. Hart’s academic research focused on risk factors associated with breast cancer development and quality of life after treatment for non-invasive breast cancer. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Hart worked in aerospace manufacturing engineering and operations management. This applied background informs her focus on the application of epidemiologic and biostatistics methods in practice.
Susan E. Schoenfeld, MSPH
Instructor, Department of Medicine, UVM College of Medicine
Education: BS Education, University of Vermont, 1975; AD Nursing, University of Vermont, 1982; Master of Science, Public Health, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1989.
Susan Schoenfeld worked at the Vermont Department of Health for 25 years, serving as the Epidemiology Field Unit Chief and Deputy State Epidemiologist. Her job responsibilities included managing Vermont’s TB Program (2005-2014) and working as the State’s Refugee Health Coordinator (2008-2014), bioterrorism preparedness planning, and coordinating Vermont’s participation in the US-Canada Eastern Border Health Initiative. Susan retired from the Health Department in 2014. Since then, she has worked in West Africa as a CDC contractor (Guinea and Liberia spring 2015; Guinea, Spring 2016), with work responsibilities including Ebola surveillance and response to measles and polio outbreaks. She teaches Investigating Disease Outbreaks.
Sarah Vose, Ph.D.
Instructor, University of Vermont Graduate Public Health Program
Education: B.S. in Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University, 1999; PhD in Molecular Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley, 2008.
Sarah’s Ph.D. research focused on pesticide metabolism and chemistry, and potential biomarkers for neurotoxicity. She went on to complete post-doctoral training at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, in the Genetics and Complex Diseases Department. Sarah studied Cockayne Syndrome, a progeria caused by defective DNA repair. In 2012, Sarah accepted the State Toxicologist position at the Vermont Department of Health, in Burlington. Sarah oversees risk assessments, cyanobacteria monitoring, private drinking water, chemical emergency response, and the Chemical Disclosure Program for Children’s Products.
Charles Hulse, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Heidi Hales, PhD
Clinical Instructor, UVM College of Medicine
Education: BA, University of Pennsylvania, 1993; MA in Conservation Biology, University of Pennsylvania; PhD, Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont