Category Archives: African American Health

African American Health – MPH 6005 – Summer 1 – 2010

Well, another African American Health course is completed and I had another great, fantastic and fast-paced time teaching this online course! Now that this African American course is established during the Summer 1 session (mid-May-end of June), I have re-worked much of the lecture material to make sure students recognize the major themes that I feel are important to remember from this course. Although there is so much health and medical issues to cover in such a short period of time on African American health, I primarily emphasized the cultural health patterns that cuts across a vast majority of these African American health disparities issues.

In this class, students did an excellent job in completing their assignments (discussion board, midterm, final exam, fieldwork projects/proposal) and participating in the chat sessions. The major advantage in teaching this course online is that I can provide students with the latest and most current research documents or video documentaries on all aspects related to African American health. This year was no exception because of all the new national health care initiatives being implemented, I was able to introduce these issues to the class and students responded through their assignments.

Here are some of the EXCELLENT and OUTSTANDING FIELDWORK PROJECTS/PROPOSALS from this African American Health course – MPH 6005 – Summer 1 – 2010:

Stress and Coping Skills amon African Americans
Obesity and Its Effects on the Black American Community
Patients Beliefs and Behaviors about Breast Cancer Screening
Knowledge and Attitude of Diabetes among African American Women: A Qualitative Fieldwork Project
A Proposal to Conduct a Study on the Perception of African Americans in Wake County NC of HIV/AIDS and STDS
Barriers to HIV Testing in African Americans
African American Women and HIV
Accessing the Perceptions of Healthy Eating and Availability of Healthier Food Choices in the African American Community
African American Mental Health Disparities
An Examination of the Disparities of Hypertension within the African American Community
An African American Male’s Insights and Perspective on the Health Status of His Fellow Brothers

As with all of my courses and particularly with this African American Health course in which I actually developed in the early 1990s, I am very pleased how students are very committed to learning more about this particular topic. Each year, I learn something new from my students and I hope also that students learn something new from me as I further make changes to this course each and every year! It was fun, engaging, fast and I can’t wait for next years class in 2011!

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.