Access our archived course, Introduction to the Core Concepts of Urban Health, to take a sneak peek into how you can gain exposure into the themes and skills associated with a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Urban Health.

About the MPH in Urban Health Program

Through innovation in experiential education, research, and service, the MPH in Urban Health at Northeastern University trains diverse and skilled professionals who promote and protect the health of urban communities. The program is designed to help students master the type of innovative thinking that is needed to confront the unique public health challenges presented by urban environments.

Learn about the MPH in Urban Health from the program’s founding director Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH and the program’s manager Alison Gillis, MPH. For more on the uniqueness of this program, hear from Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH. Download a PDF on harnessing the versatility and potential of a MPH degree here.

About the Featured Faculty Experts

Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH
Professor of Practice and Director, Master of Public Health in Urban Health Program
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
See Dr. Maniar’s bio

Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Health Sciences
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
See Dr. Mohammed’s bio

  • Week 1: Principles and History of Urban Health featuring Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH

    Week 1: Learning Objectives

    • Understand the definitions of public health and how they are defined.
    • Learn to describe public health as a system with inputs, processes, outputs, and results.
    • Identify four categories of factors which influence health.
    • Understand major trends in health status for the United States over the past 100 years.
    • Explore common characteristics of cities, and factors that may influence health.

    Watch this week’s videos in less than 10 minutes.

    Supporting Materials

    Use the following links to support your learning experience.

    What is Public Health
    Begin your exploration of urban public health by learning about the principles of social justice, health equity, and how these serve as the foundation of the public health practice. Learn about public health as it has evolved and is currently practiced in the United States. This knowledge provides the foundation upon which we will begin our exploration and your development of real-world public health competencies.

    Promoting Health Equity
    The link between social determinants of health, including social, economic, and environmental conditions, and health outcomes are widely recognized in the public health literature. Review pages 1-15 on this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention workbook on how to help communities address social determinants of health and achieve health equity.

    Health Ecological Perspective
    Continue your exploration of health and public health core functions. Review improvements in health outcomes in the US over the last 100 years, examine methods to measure health outcomes, and explore key influences on health including various categories of risk factors. Learn about the Ecological Framework which can be used to guide the development of public health programs and policies.

    Vaccination Mandates: The Public Health Imperative and Individual Rights
    Learn about the impact of vaccines in dramatically reducing infectious diseases in the U.S., the role of mandatory vaccination in achieving that impact, the constitutional basis for these mandates, and the federal government’s role in immunization practices.

    Determinants of Health in Cities
    Explore the urban setting in detail to understand key concepts such as changes around the world in urbanization, health risks, and how to adapt public health to rapidly changing environments. Learn about an urban health framework to enable us to think systematically about the health impacts on urban populations and the variety of focus areas to which public health skills can be applied.
    Part 1: What is a City?
    Part 2: Urban Health Framework
    Part 3: Climate Change and Urban Health

    Take Action on Climate Change
    The World Health Organization (WHO) states that climate change will be the defining issue for health systems in the 21st century, interacting with all of the social determinants of health. Read more about why this is important to health professionals and what action can be taken.

    Bonus Videos

    Examine the measurement of health from a public health perspective featuring Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH.

    Hear about how to be an effective team member and learn about the roles of the public health profession featuring Shan Mohammed, MD, MPH.

  • Week 2: Urban Community Health Assessment featuring Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH

    Week 2: Learning Objectives

    • Describe key concepts related to urban health and the common stakeholders involved.
    • Interpret data related to disparities in urban settings.
    • Recognize the importance of social justice and urbanization in the etiology of health among urban populations.
    • Identify core components of high quality community health assessments and rationalize why they are needed.
    • Understand the steps needed to conduct a community health assessment, the basic types of data that should be included, and challenges faced.

    Watch this week’s videos in less than 15 minutes.

    Visit our video library on YouTube to view this week’s videos. Learn about assessments, partnerships, and barriers to urban community health. The final video of the week will explore community health improvement plans. Watch now.

    Supporting Materials

    Use the following links to support your learning experience.

    Introduction to Health
    The health and well-being of urban populations may be influenced by a wide range of factors and it is often the product of the complex interplay of social, environmental, economic and biological determinants of health. Learn about the fundamental concepts of urban health and community health assessment. Review disparities that exist in urban settings and explore social justice and urbanization.

    The Boston Paradox: Lots of Healthcare, Not Enough Health
    A report from The Boston Foundation examines many indicators of health, health care, and competitiveness in Greater Boston, and has one simple conclusion: Greater Boston has lots of health care, but not enough health. This draws on groundbreaking research conducted by the New England Healthcare Institute that for the first time juxtaposes the state of our health care economy and the state of our physical well-being to put into sharp focus a set of issues that business leaders, policy makers and even families, are already grappling with.

    How to Conduct a Community Health Assessment
    A properly conducted community health assessment should be a collaborative process that engages multiple stakeholders and integrates a variety of data sources. Learn about the steps needed to conduct a successful community health assessment.

    Best Practices for Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Strategy Development
    Gain a broad overview of community health needs assessments in this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
    Suggested readings: Executive Summary, pages 2-6; pages 11-13; pages 18-19; pages 27-28; page 37; pages 46-47; pages 61-61; and page 77.

    Partnering with Communities to Improve Health
    The MAPP process is a widely used framework in Community Health Network Areas (CHNA). This report describes the utility and application of this framework. The results summarize key findings from the assessment and the strategic plan lays out the key cross cutting strategies to address the identified needs. Suggested readings: Executive Summary, page 2; MAPP Process and Implementation pages 4-7; Results pages 9-12; and Strategic Plan pages 13-14.

  • Week 3: Health Education and Program Planning featuring Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH

    Week 3: Learning Objectives

    • Define health education and program planning.
    • Describe the role of health educators and the fundamental concepts related to program planning.
    • Understand the “systems approach” to program planning.
    • Evaluate the importance of implementing a needs assessment within the program planning process.
    • Investigate the roles that goals, objectives, standards, mission statements, and evaluations play within the program development process.

    Watch this week’s videos in less than 12 minutes.

    Visit our video library on YouTube to view this week’s videos. Learn about the mission and objectives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy People 2020, and the New York State Department of Health. Watch now.

    Supporting Materials

    Use the following links to support your learning experience.

    Introduction to Health Education and Program Planning
    An introduction to the definitions of health education and health promotion and the evolution of the profession of health education. Learn fundamental concepts related to program planning.

    Healthy People 2020
    The U.S. government created Healthy People to focus on health behaviors and wellness for all Americans. The goals and objectives have helped to define the nation’s health programs and policies by providing significant research and health information to the general public. Please note that we suggest selecting up to three topics of interest and explore the overview, objectives, and interventions for those selected topics.

    Systems Approach to Program Planning
    Effective health education and health promotion programs require careful planning, stakeholder engagement, and clearly designed goals, objectives, and standards. Learn about the systems approach to program planning and learn about the benefits of stakeholder engagement as well as a needs assessment.

    Best Practices for Conducting a Needs and Resource Assessment
    The initial steps of the planning process are often the most critical. This tip sheet was developed by the Healthy Teen Network and can serve as an overall guide in thinking through this important program development process for all types of programs to help identify the key elements for their own needs and resource assessment.

    Developing Program Goals and Objectives
    Program goals and objectives establish criteria and standards to determine program performance. You will need to identify the goals and objectives of the program component or intervention you plan to evaluate. Logic models are a useful tool that can help you do this.

    Writing Goals
    Mission statements, goals, and standards provide a program with direction, inspiration, and a framework for measurement. Learn how to develop clear and well-designed program goals and the criteria to assess them by.

  • Interactive Session featuring Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH

    View the recording of the interactive session with Neil Maniar, PhD, MPH, Professor of Practice and Director, Master of Public Health in Urban Health Program.


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