Monthly Archives: July 2009

Global Public Health – MPH 6007 – Fieldwork Projects Topics

During last Fall 2008, I taught another semester of my Global Public Health MPH 6007 course (originally titled “Medical Anthropology & Public Health: A Global Perspective”) for graduate students in the Department of Public Health at ECU and at other universities in the state. Since I transitioned this course like my other graduate courses to online last year, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching this course in a new format. Using the online blackboard tools and software, I have found that teaching this Global Public Health course a truly rewarding and necessary component of my teaching portfolio as well as a necessary learning component for students who are going into public health and/or medicine.

For those who are interested in this course, here are the major course objectives:
1. Identify and assess the major components of medical anthropology and public health as they relate to global public health issues;
2. Identify and discuss the major global public health concerns of specific populations from one country to another;
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from medical anthropology and public health toward planning, implementing and evaluating global public health intervention programs.

During the fall semester, students receive their lectures via podcast and webcam formats. The podcast and webcam lectures highlights the major key points from the designated readings from each week. Students also receive a set of discussion board questions each week along with the opportunity to participate in our weekly, topic oriented chat sessions usually in the early evening. If students are not able to attend, then they can read the recordings of the chat session later in the week. The advantages of this online technology allows many students to engage in all types of interaction whether in the structured format of the discussion board session or the free-flowing, semi-structured format of the chat room sessions. In either case, students truly get into the specific global public health issue of the week. In addition, each semester I include video links to short documentaries in which the student can download and view. These short documentaries are on specific global public health issues from countries all over the world.

Along with the weekly activities, students are also required to complete a fieldwork project or a proposed fieldwork project. I believe that these fieldwork projects showcases the cultural health, public health and global perspective of this course. Students investigate, examine and solve real global public health issues that they want — not what I want. Thus this course (like all of my courses) is student driven and focused. By the end, if the student is truly motivated, interested and passionate about their topic, it shows in their final fieldwork project or proposal. After teaching for over 20 years, I can definitely tell.

Now that I have been teaching this course for 4 years (originally in the traditional face-to-face format) and recognizing that global health courses are finally becoming apart of every university’s curriculum, I get excited every semester to know that all of my students are gaining a new perspective on health and medical care that they normally do not get elsewhere. Although it is important to know about the health and medical care issues of our immediate surroundings and region (eastern North Carolina), it is significantly important to get a better understanding of the global and world public health issues simply because our world is changing each and every day and we must be prepared! That’s how important this class is today and in the future for all those who will be working in a health or medical related field in the near future.

Here is a list of some of the projects completed by students last Fall 2008 semester.

Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases Through the Reduction of Tobacco Use and Exposure: A Global Public Health Issue

Breast Cancer in North Carolina: African American Women

A Global Perspective of HIV/AIDS

Globalization: Effects of India’s Growing Population and Medical Anthropology

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use by African Americans in Eastern North Carolina

Access to Healthcare: Rural vs Urban

Attitudes about HIV Testing on a South-Eastern U.S. College Campus and Developing a Questionnaire Technique for Other Populations

Successful Aging: Having the Time of Your Life

The Effects of Teenage STD Rates Around the World

Oncology Nurses and Relation to Patients in an Office-Based Setting: A Fieldwork Project

Health Literacy, Education, Culture and Dementia

A Global Perspective of Tobacco Smoke Exposure

Childhood Obesity: A Global Epidemic

Eating Habits and Perceptions of Infants and Pre-School Age Children

As you can see, these fieldwork projects were outstanding, investigative, diverse, practical and global all within a culturally competent approach. Although it is challenging on every student to investigate a local issue in a global perspective or another country’s public health issue from a different perspective, the students in all of my global public health classes (and all of my classes) achieve this outcome! That’s the major goal and outcome of this course each and every time that I teach it! This online format has allowed me and students to venture “outside the box” of our teaching philosophy and pedagogy.

Ethnic Health and Health Disparities – MPH 6008 – Fieldwork Projects Topics

During this past Spring 2009, I taught another semester of my Ethnic Health and Health Disparities MPH 6008 course for graduate students in the Department of Public Health at ECU and at other universities in the state. Since I transitioned this course like my other graduate courses to online last year, I have thoroughly enjoyed another way to teach this course. Using the online blackboard tools and software, I have found that teaching Ethnic Health & Health Disparities course a truly rewarding experience because my students and I can learn so much more with incorporating the new technologies within our course activities.

For those who are interested in this course, here are the major course objectives:
1. Identify and assess the major health issues associated with specific ethnic and health disparity populations in the United States.
2. Describe ethnic health and health disparity issues, including its unique and important features.
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from public health and medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating specific ethnic health and health disparities intervention programs.

During the spring semester, students receive their lectures via podcast and webcam format. The podcast and webcam lectures highlights the major key points from the designated readings from each week. Students also receive a set of discussion board questions each week along with the opportunity to participate in our weekly, topic oriented chat sessions usually in the early evening. If students are not able to attend, then all chat sessions are recorded so that every student can review our weekly chat sessions. The advantages of this online technology allows many students to engage in all types of interaction whether in the structured format of the discussion board session or the free-flowing, semi-structured format of the chat room sessions. In either case, students truly get into the specific ethnic and health disparity topics of the week. Students also receive special video links in which they can view short documentary films on specific ethnic and health disparity topics each week.

Along with the weekly activities, students are also required to complete a fieldwork project or a proposed fieldwork project. I think that these fieldwork projects captures the practical, public health and cultural health focus of this course. Students investigate and solve real ethnic health and health disparity issues that they want to do — not what I want. Thus this course (like all of my courses), is student driven and focused. By the end, if the student is truly motivated, interested and passionate about their topic, it shows in their final fieldwork project or proposal. After teaching for over 20 years, I can easily tell.

Now that I have been teaching this course for 4 years (originally in the traditional face-to-face format) and recognizing that it is still one of most unique courses in all of the U.S. colleges and universities, I get thoroughly delighted to know that all of my students are breaking new ground in solving ethnic and health disparity issues in eastern North Carolina and the United States. That’s how important this class is today and in the future for all those who will be working in a health or medical related field in the near future.

Here is a list of some of the projects completed by students this Spring 2009 semester:

The Lack of Cultural Competency as an Inhibitor of Health in Refugee Populations in North Carolina

Culturally Competent Birthing Solutions

Why is Glaucoma Prevalent in African Americans and Is Age a Factor?

How African American Women Use Multiple Strategies to Cope with Life Stresses

Fieldwork Project on a HIV/AIDS Outreach Program

A Perspective on HIV/AIDS Among a Select Group of African American Men

Ethnic and Health Disparities Due to Health Literacy: Spotlight on Hispanic Women of Reproductive Age

Targeting Breast Cancer among African American Women in Nash County

Obesity Among African Americans

Educating the State of North Carolina About the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle

Pediactric Oral Health Practices of Caucasian and Latina Women in Pitt County, North Carolina

Developing New Strategies to Improve Physical Activity among Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) Groups

African American Women Health Disparities: A Look at Awareness

African American Adolescent Females & Body Image

Childhood Obesity; A Closer Look

As you can see, these fieldwork projects/proposals were phenomenial, investigative, insightful, detailed and practical all within a culturally competent approach. Although it is challenging on every student to investigate another group’s health issues and to see the world from another person’s perspective, the students in all of my ethnic health and health disparity classes (and all of my classes) achieve this outcome! That’s the major goal and outcome of this course each and every time that I teach it.

Medical Anthropology – ANTH 3252 – Fieldwork Projects Topics

During Spring 2009, I taught another semester of my Medical Anthropology, ANTH 3252 course for undergraduate students in the Department of Anthropology and at other local universities. Since I had also transitioned this course from the face-to-face traditional format to online, I used the online blackboard tools and software. I strongly felt that this Medical Anthropology needed to be online for a couple of years since my arrival in the department because it could capture a larger undergraduate audience than we I first taught it here at ECU. This is another course that I developed years ago (actually 1989) and now became even more excited in its new online format.

For those who are interested in this course, here are the major course objectives:
1. To provide a comprehensive introduction to the subspecialty of Medical Anthropology — its fundamental principles and key concepts.
2. To encourage awareness of cultural health perspectives and issues.
3. To apply principles and strategies derived from medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating health intervention programs.

During the spring semester, students receive their lectures via podcast and webcam format. The podcast and webcam lectures highlights the major key points from the designated readings from each week. Students also receive a set of discussion board questions each week along with the opportunity to participate in our weekly chat sessions usually in the early evening. The advantages of this online technology allows many students to engage in all types of interaction whether in the structured format of the discussion board session or the free-flowing semi-structured format of the chat room sessions. In either case, students really get into the specific medical anthropological topics of the week!

Along with the weekly activities, students are also required to complete a fieldwork project or a proposed fieldwork project. I know that these fieldwork projects allow students to take this course further and get truly involved into a specific health topic that they are interested. Although many students are a bit hesitant as to what type of practical topic that they can do, but once I show them how to do an applied medical anthropological fieldwork project, they realize that most any health-related topic can be conducted for their project. By the end, these applied medical anthropological fieldwork projects and/or proposals are outstanding.

Here is a list of some of the projects completed by students this past spring 2009 semester:

Fieldwork in Pitt County Memorial Hospital

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Prevalence of Addictive Behaviors in Asian/Pacific Islander Populations

Doctors vs Doulas: Examining Reasons Women Choose Alternative Birthing Methods

Ethnic Variations in Breastfeeding

Cultural Beliefs and Individual Health Care Decisions

Autism and ABA Therapy Training

The New Hanover County Health Department and Health Promotion

Hypertension in the African American Community

Autism, Is There a Connection Between the Disability and Vaccinations?

Maori Health Care

Western Health Care

Again, these student medical anthropological fieldwork projects were amazing and they helped to uncover the cultural health component related to each topic. That’s really the major goal of this class.

African American Health – MPH 6005 – Fieldwork Projects Topics

During this summer 1 session of 2009, I taught another semester of my African American Health: MPH 6005 course for graduate students in the Department of Public Health at ECU and at other universities in the state. Since I transitioned this course to online last year, I have enjoyed another avenue in teaching this course. Using the online blackboard tools and software, I have found that teaching this African American course within the 5 1/2 weeks not only challenging but also far more engaging, interacting and practical than ever before.

For those who are interested in this course, here are the major course objectives:
1. Describe African American health care issues, including its unique and important features.
2. Apply principles derived from ethnic health and health disparity planning, implementation, and evaluation.
3. Critique and evaluate African American public health intervention programs.

During this 5 1/2 weeks, students receive their lectures via podcast and webcam format. The podcast and webcam lectures highlights the major key points from the designated readings during each week. Students also receive a set of discussion questions each week along with the opportunity to participate in a weekly chat session in the early evenings. This online technology and format allows for constant engagement and interaction of practical African American health issues to be discussed, debated and resolved.

Along with the weekly activities, students are also required to complete a fieldwork project or a proposed fieldwork project. I think that these fieldwork projects captures the practical and cultural health focus of this course. Students investigate and solve the African American issues that they want to do — not what I want to. Thus this course (like all of my courses) is student driven and focused. By the end, if the student is truly motivated, interested and passionate about their topic, it shows in their final fieldwork project or proposal.

Interestingly, I have been teaching this course for 10 years (traditional format) and I still get surprised and excited to read the excellent African American health fieldwork projects submitted.

Here is a list of some of the projects completed by students this summer 1 2009 session:

African American Female Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Sexual Health

A School and Church Medical Anthropology Fieldwork Proposal on Childhood Obesity in Wilson, NC

Heart Disease and Stress among African American Women

A Perspective on Recommendations for Policy Change and Interventions for Reduction/Elimination of HIV/AIDS in the African American Male

Spirituality and Health Care Seeking in Maysville

Reasons for Physical Inactivity in African American Women in Onslow County

The Life Expectancy of the African American Black Male

As you can see, these fieldwork projects/proposals were fantastic, investigative, practical and addressed a number of “real” health issues in the local African American communities in a culturally competent approach. That’s the major goal and outcome of this course each and every time that I teach it.

Professor Eric Bailey

eric-bailey1

Greetings and Welcome,

I am a Professor of Anthropology and Public Health and Director of the new Online Certificate Program in Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities at East Carolina University (beginning fall 09). I have had a joint appointment in two departments since starting here at ECU in 2005. I have also served as a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institutes of Health, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Cancer Institute. I completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. In earlier roles, I served as Program Director for the Masters of Public Health Program in Urban Public Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and as Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Indiana University at Indianapolis and the University of Houston.

Continue to check back at my Course Happenings blog as I feature some of the innovative, practical, unique, outstanding, and cutting-edge projects from my students in all of my classes. I am sure you will be impressed by the course activities and the student projects!