PHVP Course Descriptions

Public Health for Vulnerable Populations

This program focuses on  health equity – the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among social groups – and populations who experience a disproportionate burden of health and social disparities in society. A special emphasis is placed on recognition that the human right to health implies the empowerment of disadvantaged communities to exercise the greatest possible control over the factors that determine their health.

Course Resources: Please refer to the Concordia Course Management System (CCMS) for individual course resources.

PHVP 630: Urban Health and Healthy Public Policy (1.5 cr)
Where people live affects their health and chances of leading flourishing lives. An ever-growing proportion of the global population lives in urban areas. The proportion of Canadians (80%) who live in urban areas has increased steadily since Confederation. Urban areas are often unhealthy places to live, characterized by heavy traffic, pollution, noise, violence and social isolation. People in urban areas experience increased rates of non-communicable disease and injury, with the poor typically exposed to the worst environments. This course will examine ways to tackle these challenges and improve urban public health.
Textbook: None required

PHVP 631: Aboriginal Health and Healthy Public Policy (1.5 cr)
This course will examine the major health inequities experienced by Aboriginal Canadians today and the reasons behind them. Students will have the opportunity to critically examine and reflect on the causes of these problems and their solutions; embedded within the historical, social, cultural, and political realities of Aboriginal peoples today. At the end of the course, students will have acquired a broad, critical understanding of the major challenges confronting Aboriginal people in Canada and the health impacts of these challenges. The course will prepare students to undertake positions in public health that involve the planning of policies and programs for urban Aboriginal peoples and those living in First Nations communities.
Textbook: Aboriginal Health in Canada: Historical, Cultural and Epidemiological Perspectives. 2nd Edition
                  Author: James B. Waldram, D. Ann Herring and T. Kue Young. 
                  ISBN 10: 0-8020-8579-2

PHVP 634: Public health for Children and Youth at Risk (1.5 cr)
This course will examine the social, political, and cultural factors that shape the health of socially disadvantaged children from infancy through adolescence in Canada. A life course perspective will be used to examine the role childhood plays in creating and maintaining socioeconomic health inequalities in later adulthood. At the end of this course, students will understand the impacts that latency effects, pathway effects and cumulative effects have on health across the lifespan. Students will be able to describe recent trends in governmental approaches aimed at reducing health disparities among socially vulnerable children and youth in Canada, and compare these approaches internationally. The course will prepare students to undertake positions in public health that involve the planning of policies and programs aimed at reducing health inequalities among socially vulnerable children and youth.

PHVP 635: Public Health and Labour Market Disadvantage (1.5 cr)
Employment and working conditions are important determinants of health, providing individuals an income as well as a sense of identity, belonging and structure in their day-to-day lives. Canadians who are disadvantaged in the labour market are a vulnerable population. This includes individuals who are frequently unemployed, underemployed, or employed in unhealthy or insecure work environments. This course will use a multilevel perspective to (1) examine the impacts of labour market disadvantage on health; (2) introduce students to pathways that may explain these impacts; and (3) identify actions to reduce labour market disadvantage and its health impacts on Canadians.
Textbook: None required

PHVP 637: Public Health and Socially Marginalized Populations (1.5 cr)
This course will examine the public health impacts of social marginalization among key groups in Canada. The degree to which these populations experience income and employment disparities and discrimination as compared to other wealthy developed nations of the OECD will be critically examined. Implications for strengthening public policies in Canada to improve the health and well being of socially marginalized groups in Canada will be discussed and debated.
Textbook: None required

PHVP 638: Interpersonal Violence and Public Health (1.5 cr)
This course considers the causes and public health consequences of interpersonal violence in Canadian society. Upon completion of this course students will be able to (1) identify and describe, in epidemiologic terms, the nature and magnitude of interpersonal violence in Canada; (2) describe the major biological, psychological, socio-cultural, and political causes of violence; (3) critically evaluate Canada’s approach to preventing interpersonal violence against citizens and assisting victims as compared to international efforts in other developed countries; and (4) identify policies and programs that will fill the gaps in current efforts.
Textbook: None required

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