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PHSC 3: Introduction to Community Health

Welcome to American Health System

Course Description

The majority of public health practice and policy takes place outside clinic and hospital settings, and instead occur within communities. As a core requirement for all public health majors, the goal of PHSC 3 is to understand how communities influence individual and population health. We will examine public health from the perspective of communities from multiple levels and perspectives, including community members, community organizations, and governmental entities.

The course content will examine key concepts and contemporary patterns of community health in the United States (U.S.). Students will learn how to define “communities” for public health practice and research and gain hands-on experience/training with community health work. PHSC 3 students will learn theories and frameworks of community health and apply these concepts through collaborations with Santa Clara County and Bay Area community organizations. Course content will emphasize the social and structural factors influencing health in U.S. society, as well as explore the political, economic, historical, cultural, and/or environmental determinants of individual and community health inequities. Key community health concepts that will be highlighted through the course include: community organizing and empowerment; racial and health equity; mental health; social justice; and cultural humility.