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Michigan State University

Promoting Public Health in Michigan in the Face of COVID-19

Michigan State University via Desire2Learn


This free course aims to strengthen your understanding of public health and why it is important in the fight against the current pandemic, COVID-19, and beyond. You will learn key public health terms that we have been hearing in the news and how public health helps to prevent disease and promote health; how social determinants, or predictors, of health can create health disparities, or differences in health outcomes; the effects of COVID-19 on communities in Michigan; practices for reducing health disparities and providing opportunities for everyone to be healthy; and how to engage the community in these efforts.

There are five modules that you can complete at your own pace and discussion forums for you to introduce yourself and share questions and comments with the instructors and other learners. There will also be optional interactive discussion sessions about the course material.


Module 1History and Foundations of Public Health

What is public health and why is it important? In this module, you will learn key public health terms and about important events in the history of public health and their relevance to the current pandemic.

Module 2: Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

Some populations are disproportionately impacted by adverse health events, including COVID-19. In this module, you will learn about health disparities, or differences in health outcomes, and how social determinants of health, such as poverty and discrimination, can drive these disparities.

Module 3: COVID-19 and Its Impacts in Michigan

The State of Michigan has among the highest racially disparate COVID-19 infection and death rates in the country. In this module, you will take a closer look at these data and learn about the processes involved in testing and contact tracing.

Module 4: Promoting Health Literacy, Equity, and Resilience

A key aim of public health is to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities. In this module, you will learn the importance of making health information clear and available to diverse populations and taking other steps to reduce unfair differences in health outcomes.

Module 5: Community Engagement in Public Health

Why is it important for people like you to be involved in efforts to reduce health disparities and promote wellness? In this module, you will learn different types of community engagement in public health and best practices.


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