wk 11 assignment

In what ways does public health policy contribute to the elimination of health disparities?

As a current or future health professional, you will research how public health policies can contribute to or alleviate health disparities. Factors such as the degree in which those policies are enforced (e.g., local, state, or national) may have significant effects on health outcomes, especially in vulnerable populations.

This week, you examine the outer level(s) of the SEM and consider the types of strategies, activities, institutions and organizations that are significant at this level. You continue to explore and reflect on the relationship between the social determinants of health, health disparities, and health behaviors. You also review community-based participatory research (CBPR) and the various interventions developed around this theory as you finalize your Final Project.


Students will:

  • Analyze society and policy levels of the Socio-Ecological Model for health interventions
  • Apply levels of the Socio-Ecological Model to health interventions
  • Analyze indicators of a public health issue
  • Analyze social determinants of health for population health behaviors
  • Analyze stakeholders and principles of community-based participatory research for health interventions
  • Analyze health interventions in relation to addressing public health essential services

Throughout this course, you have considered the value of a sociological lens. As you identify the social determinants of health that impact health disparities and health behaviors, the SEM can help define areas where interventions can contribute to optimal health outcomes.

Consider for example a violence prevention program. 

  • What types of interventions (across the SEM) would be most beneficial to alleviate violence prevention?
  • What level across the SEM can address violence in adults?
  • In what ways will violence prevention strategies differ across the levels of the SEM? 

In your current or future role as a health professional, the opportunity to refine your skills in performing socio-ecological assessments will help ensure that you are implementing appropriate interventions for your target population.

For this Final Project, select a population and public health issue of interest. Consider the health issue with regard to this population and how social determinants of health contribute to the health behaviors observed within this population.

The Assignment (10–15 pages)

  • Describe the population and public health issue that you selected.
  • Define the indicators of the issue (i.e., incidence, mortality, morbidity, and hospitalizations) and explain how these influence the population and public health issue you selected.
  • Identify at least two social determinants of health that impact the public health issue you selected.
  • Explain how the social determinants of health impact the health-related risk behaviors for your population.
  • Describe the significance of socio-ecological theory and its application to this issue.
  • Propose an intervention across all levels of the SEM for your population and public health issue.
  • Explain how applying your intervention across all levels of the SEM will contribute to positive health outcomes. 
  • Develop a visual representation of how you have applied the SEM and include the table and diagram for the intervention you are proposing. Refer to the Socio-Ecological Model(PDF) in this Week’s learning resources as an example of a visual representation.
  • Describe which stakeholders and organizations you will work with to execute your intervention.
  • Explain how you would apply the principles of community-based participatory research for this intervention.
  • Explain the likelihood that your intervention would be successful in contributing to favorable health outcomes for the population you selected.
  • Briefly explain how your proposed intervention addresses at least two of the essential public health services. Be specific and provide examples.

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