Executive MS - Population Health Management

Main Content

Course Descriptions

  • PHS 700. Essentials of Population Health. Introduction to how the multiple determinants of health (e.g., health care, socioeconomic status, genetics, the physical environment and health behavior, and their interactions) have implications for the health outcomes of populations. Characteristics of populations defined by geography, diagnosis, and/or point of care will be discussed. Avenues in which health care systems, public health agencies, community-based organizations, retail health organizations work together to improve local, national, and global communities. Students will also learn how to view problems from a population health and population health management perspective. Descriptions of how clinical and non-clinical data is used to measure health-related outcomes, analyze patterns, communicate results, and develop evidence-based intervention practices to manage of health of populations will be explored. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 701. Applied Demography. The course provides an applied overview of common methodological approaches, major conceptual issues, and recent empirical research in demography. Demography is the study of the causes and consequences of population change. Populations change in size and composition in response to three basic phenomenon: fertility, mortality, and migration. Course readings and discussions will draw on research in multiple disciplines to provide students a framework for evaluating how social, economic, historical, cultural, and political factors interrelate with these demographic processes. Students will be introduced to the data, statistics, and substantive issues of demography including mortality, fertility, migration, population composition, population distribution, population policy and the relationship between population and environment. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 702. Statistical Methods in Research. This course provides an introduction to selected important topics in statistical concepts and reasoning. This course represents an introduction to the field and provides a survey of data types and analysis techniques. Specific topics include applications of statistical techniques such as point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing (tests of significance), correlation and regression, relative risks and odds ratios, sample size/power calculations and study designs. While the course emphasizes interpretation and concepts, there are also formulae and computational elements such that upon completion, class participants have gained real world applied skills. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 703. Epidemiology I. This course will introduce students to the principles and methods of epidemiology in human populations, including study design (randomized trials, case-control studies, cohort studies, and cross-sectional studies), risk estimation, and methods of causal inference. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 704. Epidemiology II. This course will present and illustrate advanced concepts in epidemiologic methods with an emphasis on observational studies. Topics include causal inference in epidemiology, measures of disease frequency, measures of association, application of statistical methods commonly used in epidemiologic studies (e.g., stratified and logistic regression analysis), calculation of sample size and statistical power, precision and validity in epidemiologic studies, quantification of bias (e.g., information and selection bias), assessing confounding and effect modification, interpretation and critique of results from various epidemiologic studies including meta-analysis Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 705. Value-based Healthcare Del & Pay Models. Health care systems in the US and around the world are pursuing value-based health care (VBHC) reforms that seek to achieve the triple aim of better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower cost of care per capita. In VBHC, health care payers and purchasers hold health care providers accountable for delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely. VBHC delivery models include Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and non-ACO models. ACOs are networks of hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers that share financial and clinical responsibility for providing coordinated care to patient populations in hopes of limiting unnecessary spending. Both ACO non ACO value-based payment models will be covered in this course. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 706. Population Health and Consumerism. Hospitals and health systems are re-inventing themselves and working with providers and their communities to position their organizations for success in an environment that demands high-value, lower-cost and efficient health care. But as hospitals and health systems transition to value-based care, they must do so with an eye on the consumer. Patients, and their families, will be more informed and savvy in making health care purchasing decisions. This course will familiarize students with the growing movements in both healthcare consumerism and population health management. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 709. Population Health Management. This course will introduce students to the applied field of population health management through the use of case studies and key elements of population health management such as development of accountable care processes and infrastructure, payer relationships, care coordination, health and financial management systems, and leadership.Descriptions of how clinical and non-clinical evidence is used to measure health-related outcomes, analyze patterns, communicate results and identify best practices and implement effective interventions to manage the health of clinical populations. The importance and challenges of the translation of data and information into intelligence for clinical and health policy decision-making will be emphasized. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 710. Clinical Coaching. The purpose of this course is to increase the knowledge and skills of clinicians in coaching patients to make lasting lifestyle management changes. It is envisaged that undertaking this subject will contribute to the professional development, knowledge base and performance of those involved in clinical coaching. Given the evolution of the U.S. health care system, health care providers are incentivized to produce better patient outcomes and to reduce recurring patient visits. Employers are prioritizing health and wellness in the workplace, aiming to cut costs and increase productivity. Given these changes, it is important for clinicians to increase their skill set in the provision of clinical coaching, as well as enhancing their knowledge of evidence-based approaches for motivating behavior change, and understanding of how to incorporate clinical coaching into clinical practice. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 711. Healthcare Quality and Safety. This course provides an overview of health care quality and safety. Students will learn fundamental quality improvement concepts and techniques. Quality measurement, assessment, and improvement frameworks will be explored as they apply to clinical, safety, and patient satisfaction outcomes. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 712. Science Communication & Dissemination I. This is a foundation course in science communication theory, research, and practice in the context of health promotion and health care. This course is based on the premise that scientists, and increasingly, other practitioners and educators, are agents of change in creating research impact, promoting research utilization, and ensuring that research findings reach appropriate audiences. This course is designed to increase practical knowledge, competencies and skill set necessary for translating scientific knowledge to various communities and populations. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 713. Implementation Science. This course is an introduction to implementation science and its relevance to population health science and practice. Implementation science is the scientific study of methods to promote the uptake of research findings in real world settings such as clinical, organizational, community, or policy environments. The course will first highlight current challenges in population health and the role of implementation science in addressing them, including the development of practice-based research activities and the provision of technical support for program implementation. Common implementation research frameworks will be introduced. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 714. US Healthcare Organizations and Delivery. Focuses on the organization, financing, and delivery of healthcare in the U.S. Contrasts the private and public sectors and examines the effects of market competition and government regulation. Examines the ways that medical providers are paid, and explores the major issues currently facing physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Also discusses several potential small and large scale reforms to the U.S. healthcare system and evaluates their likely effects on healthcare spending, quality of care, and access to care. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 715. Health Disparities Seminar. This course will examine relevant historical issues, theories, and empirical data, emphasizing critical analysis and application of knowledge. Disparities will be discussed relative to race/ethnicity, gender, income, and sexual orientation. Students will gain a better understanding of research on health disparities and interventions to promote health equity through a combination of readings, reflection papers, and in-class exercises. Students will summarize the evidence regarding a specific health disparity (topic and population of their choice). Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 716. Interventions for Org. Behavior Change. This course is designed to provide students with a conceptual framework addressing the strategic importance of managing change and organization development (OD) in various agencies, health care organizations, human service organizations, community organizations and other settings. Uncertainty, complexity and rapidly changing organizational environments create the necessity for organizations to respond to and effectively deal with turbulence and instability. The capability of an organization's human resources to adapt to such conditions, adopt and successfully use new practices, technologies and develop ways of performing organizational tasks is vital to proactive and sustainable human service organizations. Managing change and OD are essential to these processes. Students will also learn LEAN and six sigma methodologies as key tools for process improvement in healthcare settings that require the management of multidisciplinary teams. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 717. Health Behavior Theory. This course will provide an overview of social and behavioral science theories and frameworks that are currently used to: 1) understand health related behaviors; and 2) guide development of interventions and policies designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate major public health problems. Population health is an interdisciplinary field built upon other disciplines such as sociology, psychology, economics, demography, and public health. As a result, this course will cover classic theories in psychology and sociology; the leading health behavior theories in public health, and emerging theories used in population health interventions. Traditional Independent Study (3 hours)

  • PHS 718. Proseminar. Proseminars are professionalism courses that provide an entree into a field. This course will review the evolution of the field of population health science and the school of population health, and take a look at developments and the future of the field. Traditional Lecture (1 hour)

  • PHS 720. Population Health Informatics. This course will focus on the concepts, theories and practices of the evolving discipline of health informatics. Differentiation between approaches used in this field versus health information technology will be highlighted. Health informatics is defined as the method of acquiring, storing, retrieving, and using healthcare information to foster better collaboration among patients and health care providers. This evolving specialization links information technology, communication and health care to improve the quality and safety of patient care. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 721. Digital Healthcare. This course introduces students to the utility of information and communication technologies (ICT) within modern healthcare practice. Students will learn about a range of digital technologies and applications in the areas of clinical practice, education and administration that are fast becoming commonplace. The course fosters awareness of digital health at national and international levels; it examines the characteristics of digital health innovation, strategic vision and deployment in various countries such as Australia, US, Canada, Europe and the developing world. While evaluating the technological advances relative to patient-centered care, students will also study the potential pitfalls of the use of technology in healthcare. The course draws attention to the associated social, ethical, legal issues and workflow issues that must be considered when integrating digital health into clinical practice. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 722. Health Information Visualization. Information visualization is the use of interactive visual representations of data to amplify human cognition. This course provides an introduction to the theories, principles and techniques for creating effective interactive visualizations of quantitative health information. The course will take a hands-on approach and will teach how to carry out visual analytics using a modern data visualization software. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 724. Environmental Health. This course offers a general introduction to environmental health from global to local, addressing fundamental topics and current issues. This course covers core topics that prepare students to comprehend environmental health issues leading to prevention and management of the major environmental health problems. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 725. GIS in Healthcare and Epidemiology. This course prepares students to apply geographic information systems in population health related studies. This course combines the understanding of spatial analysis and application. This is the second level graduate GIS at UMMC. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 726. Intro to GIS. This course introduces the fundamental concepts and applications of geographic information systems. Special emphasis is given in the areas of healthcare and epidemiology. This course combines an overview of the general principles of GIS and analytical use of spatial information technology applicable for health professionals. This is the first course of a series of geospatial information technology at UMMC. Traditional Lecture (3-4 hours)

  • PHS 730. Health Prom, Disease Prev, and Care Mgt. The course is concerned with the socio-cultural, behavioral, psychological, and biological factors contributing to wellness and disease prevention. Students will be introduced to the theory and application of health promotion principles and will review and critically assess the current efforts to influence lifestyle change, at both the individual and population levels. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 731. Social Determinants of Health. This course analyzes the social factors, such as inequalities in income and opportunities, and racial/ethnic disparities that influence the health of populations. The course examines the effect of economic, social, cultural, and environmental factors on population health. The course looks at how systematic variation in these factors lead to health disparities, and explores how economic, social and cultural conditions interact with other determinants of health such as human behavior and biology. The course also reviews the methods used in health disparities research and assesses relevant economic and social policies. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 732. Global Health: Disp, Deter, Pol, & Out. This course will focus on four main topics: 1) the burden and distribution of disease and mortality; 2) the determinants of global health disparities; 3) the development of global health policies; and 4) the outcomes of global health interventions. Substantial attention will be given to the difference in terminology used to describe inequalities across countries, the underlying historical assumptions that undergird those definitions, and the resulting solutions that are implemented as a result. Factors that highlight how global health disparities and global health policy responses are shaped by social, economic, governmental, and political forces will be discussed. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 739. Science Communication & Dissemination II. This is an applied course in science communication and dissemination, designed to advance students’ knowledge of health and science communication theory, research, and practice. The major course objective is to provide opportunities to develop skills in communicating complex scientific information and study findings to multiple audiences. The course will expose students to various contexts for science communication including interpersonal, small group, and mass media. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 740. Foundations of Scientific Writing. This course covers how to conduct a literature review, and interpret and evaluate scientific literature that focuses on population health. In addition, this course will provide students with fundamental skills of writing scientific manuscripts. Skills obtained in this course will prepare students for writing theses/dissertations, and peer-reviewed manuscripts. Traditional Lecture (1-3 hours)

  • PHS 742. Multivariate Regression. This course introduces the basic concepts and steps associated with multivariable statistical modeling. It integrates methods with performing the steps using data analysis tools such as Stata. Presents use of generalized linear models for quantitative analysis of data encountered in public health and medicine. Specific models include analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and Cox regression. Applied linear regression involving hands-on data analysis will be emphasized. Students enrolling for this course should have taken at least one other graduate level statistics course and should be conversant with the basic fundamentals of statistical testing and estimation. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 743. Prgm Eval for Pop-Level Interventions. This course is designed to cover a wide range of assessments including individual programs, institutional and governmental policies. Evaluators work with program staff and stakeholders to clarify a program’s operational theory and goals, develop information to help tailor an intervention to a specific audience, document a program’s specific activities, reach, and outcomes, and develop information about the impact of a program or policy on a specific community health concern. This practical course will cover the core knowledge and skills involved in program evaluation, provide hands-on experience in evaluation design, and provide exposure to some of the ethical and philosophical issues current in evaluation research. The course will be conducted entirely online. Course activities will be focused on giving students hands-on experience in the specific research skills and tools required for effective program evaluation. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 744. Bioethics and Society. This is a case-method course, consisting of discussion of the fundamental basics of bioethical theory. In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of bioethical theory and then apply this knowledge in developing a language and toolbox for making decisions when faced with dilemmas and ethical conflicts in a healthcare setting and in regard to issues of health and healthcare. The underlying concepts are vital to selecting and applying the appropriate frame to view these dilemmas and ethical conflicts. Traditional Lecture (1 hour)

  • PHS 745. Comm Eng and Comm-Based Particip Rsrch. Community engagement strategies that affect health behavior are increasingly important for improving the health of populations. Introduces the principles and applied methods of community-engaged research, including defining the community and partnership models for identifying relevant research questions. The course will cover community assessment, coalition building, choosing community partners, ethical issues of community work and important methodological issues of community-based participatory research. It is intended to develop and expand the skills of population health professionals in designing and delivering culturally congruent health promotion program in community settings. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 746. Systematic Review. This course introduces the methods of systematic review and meta-analysis, including formulating questions, criteria for relevance and rigor in selecting primary studies, search strategies, coding protocols, tables and other formats for presenting data, qualitative and quantitative representations of effect sizes from individual primary studies, and analyses of groups of studies to estimate an average effect size and to explain variation. Each student works on his/her own project with the goal of producing a complete proposal/protocol and taking preliminary steps in all phases of the systematic review process. This course will include A STATA-based workshop in meta-analysis. The course will also provide an overview of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based public health practice. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 747. Qualitative Methods and Analysis. This course will use a combination of didactic, interactive, and applied techniques to teach methodological and analysis techniques in qualitative research. Students will review theoretical approaches and explore the connections between overarching theoretical frameworks, data collection methods, and analysis strategies. Students will have the opportunity to learn and practice qualitative methodologies for use with different populations and conduct in-depth observations and interviews. Students will also learn and practice coding and axial coding techniques for data analysis. Different analytical approaches and software coding programs will be explored and examined. Traditional Lecture (1-3 hours)

  • PHS 748. Spatial Analysis and GIS. Introduces the field of spatial analysis and its application to population health research and planning. Concepts are examined through the use of ArcGIS Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping software as a tool for integrating, manipulating, and displaying health related spatial data. GIS topics covered include mapping, geocoding, and manipulations related to data structures and topology. Introduces the spatial science paradigm: Spatial Data, GIS, and Spatial Statistics. Selected case studies are used to demonstrate concepts along the paradigm. Focus is on using GIS to generate and refine hypotheses about population health related spatial data in preparation for follow up analyses. Prerequisite: PHS 702 Statistical Methods in Research or equivalent. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 749. Longitudinal and Multilevel Models. This course covers statistical models for drawing scientific inferences from clustered/correlated data such as longitudinal and multilevel data. Topics include longitudinal study design; exploring clustered data; linear and generalized linear regression models for correlated data, including marginal, random effects, and transition models; and handling missing data. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 750. Population Health Research Methods I. This course will introduce the major components in research methods including: qualitative and quantitative study designs, selection of study populations, formulation of research questions, hypothesis formulation, levels of measurement, sampling, measurement, instrumentation, and study interpretation issues. Emphasis will be placed on research methods from social science origins, including an introduction to qualitative research theory and design. Online, Internet, or Web-based Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 752. Designing and Conducting Health Surveys. This course is a theoretical and practical overview of survey methodology, with survey research design and implementation as the major focus. Central to this course is survey quality, the variety of settings in which survey data is collected, devices for data collection, data processing, and survey data analysis techniques. Best practices and guidelines for phases of survey from design to implementation, analysis and reporting will be discussed. Traditional - EL Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 753. Systems Science and Population Health. This course provides an introduction to systems science and its applications to population health science and practice. Health and health care improvement challenges tend to be complex and involve multiple actors and institutions. Unlike traditional cause and effect or linear thinking models, systems thinking and complexity science is characterized by nonlinearity, hence traditional statistical methods are often inadequate for analyzing or predicting outcomes that depend on many interacting and adaptive parts. Systems thinking is a core skill that helps health professionals build programs and policies that anticipate and prepare for unintended consequences. Students will learn new ways of thinking about problem solving, including a range of powerful conceptual techniques suitable for planning interventions in complex and uncertain environments and use of systems models to devise strategies to account for real world complexities in research translation. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 755. Improving the Health of Vulnerable Pop. The course provides intensive coverage of contemporary topics in vulnerable populations in health care and health research. It explores definitions of vulnerability and provides a conceptual model for considering issues of vulnerability in a health care, health research, or public health context. It guides students through practical considerations for working with a variety of vulnerable populations. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 756. HIV/AIDS in the United States. This course offers an immersion experience in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Seminar topics to be covered include: historical context, epidemiology and trends, wide and persisting disparities, old and emerging challenges, and advances and opportunities in prevention and treatment. Students will have an immersion experience in nationally acclaimed cutting-edge research and service programs in Jackson, Mississippi, with emphasis on improving equity for sexual minorities with or at-risk for HIV infection. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 757. Health Equity Reserch Methods. This course covers theory and practical methods for developing and conducting research with the goal of improving health equity. Introduces methods and skills required to conduct rigorous health equity research and translate evidence-based strategies into practice and policy. It goes beyond methods for identifying health disparities to methods for addressing such disparities through research. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 760. Health Economics. This course covers the theory of microeconomic analysis and its application to health and health services. It emphasizes the use of theory to understand problems of organization, delivery, and financing of health services; discrepancies in health levels among members of society; and the choices available to society regarding these issues. Doctoral students will be required to write a paper that identifies and discusses the major policy and research issues in one of the areas of health economics that is introduced in the course. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 761. Healthcare Finance. This course covers key financial concepts and principles in the health care industry. Managerial and financial accounting, as well as financial analysis and strategic planning, are covered. Financial management under prospective payment and capitation systems, as well as product costing and pricing, will be emphasized. Risk-based contracting and other anticipated changes to financial management due to health care reform will be introduced. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 762. Methods for Econ Eval of Health Programs. This course deals with comparative effectiveness research that takes cost into consideration. It covers the concepts and methods for the economic analysis of healthcare decision alternatives. Topics will include cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis, and other methods of decision analysis. It emphasizes the application of these methods to the evaluation of alternative health programs. Prerequisite: PHS 760 Health Economics. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 766. Behav., Econ., & Health Decision-Making. Behavioral economics is the study of emotional and psychological influences on decision making. This course offers an introduction to behavioral economics and its applications to health and health care decision-making. It covers theories behind why people make certain health-related economic decisions, especially when those decisions may be contrary to their best interest. Students will learn the impact that behavioral factors affecting patients, providers, and patient-provider interaction can have on decision-making, treatment choices, costs, and health outcomes. Application of behavioral economics to influencing patient and provider behavior in health care settings, as well as application of behavioral economics to public policy making will be covered. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PHS 790. Special topics in PHS. The focus of this Special Topics course may vary by semester. It is designed to respond to contemporary issues in population health as well as to cover specific areas of faculty and/or students’ interest. Traditional Lecture (1-3 hours)

  • PHS 791. Independent Study. This course is intended to meet special needs of individual students. Students who wish to learn more about a particular topic can approach a mentor to determine an advanced course of study for a particular topic. The structure of an individual course is decided upon by the individual course instructor with approval from the program committee. Traditional Independent Study (1-9 hours)

  • PHS 796. Thesis and Thesis Research. The purpose of this culminating course is for students to produce a written, independent scientific research work. During the course, students will demonstrate their ability to independently plan, carry out and present (orally and written) their research on a topic that addresses a current population health-related issue. This involves formulating a research question and objectives, selecting appropriate methods, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting and discussing results in relation to relevant scientific literature. Online, Internet, or Web-based Thesis (1-9 hours)

  • PHS 797. Practice Transformation Practicum. This course will guide students through the conduct of a practice transformation practicum, which is a planned and evaluated work experience that compliments the classroom education, and allows them the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in their course work. The practicum experience is designed to enhance students’ experience in the field of population health, and is key to a comprehensive understanding of population health practice in various settings. Success is defined by the exposure to valuable work experience, improvement in subject matter knowledge, and achievement of course objectives. Traditional Practicum/Internship (1-6 hours)

  • PHS 798. Doctoral Dissertation Seminar. This is a seminar course for doctoral students in Population Health Science who are currently working on their dissertation. The seminar provides students the opportunity to present and discuss their work in a supportive environment. Faculty may also present ongoing research. Traditional Dissertation (1-9 hours)

  • PHS 799. Doctoral Proposal Development. This course deals with both the theoretical and practical aspects of designing dissertation research and successfully defending the design in a proposal hearing. The purpose of the course is to assist students through the proposal and dissertation writing processes. This course covers the structure and content of a student dissertation research proposal, scientific writing conventions, strategies for conducting a literature search, critical evaluation and synthesis of literature, development of specific aims and research methods, procedures for writing and editing research proposals, and presentation of population health information. Students will be introduced to the process of acquiring and managing extramural funding for sponsored projects with emphasis on NIH research grants. Students will be encouraged to flesh out their doctoral dissertation proposal and to complete a pre-doctoral grant application during this course. Traditional Dissertation (3 hours)

Preventive Medicine Course Descriptions

  • PM 725. Environmental Health. This course offers a general introduction to environmental health from global to local, addressing fundamental topics and current issues. This course covers core topics that prepare students to comprehend environmental health issues leading to prevention and management of the major environmental health problems. Traditional Lecture (3 hours)

  • PM 797. Preventive Medicine Practicum. This course provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of core topics in clinical prevention and population health in the health care environment, and to communicate about these topics with other physicians. Traditional Practicum/Internship (1-9 hours)