Health Advocacy Course Descriptions

Course of study/Full- or Part-time

12 Courses/36 Credits
The master’s program can be completed in two years, full-time. The first year contains the course of study for the professional certificate program. Students can then opt to return after the first year or later to complete the master’s degree in the second year.

FULL-TIME COURSE SEQUENCE:

Year 1 (18 credits):

HAP 505 A Systems Approach to Delivering Health Care in America (3 credits)
This course will take a systemic approach to health care delivery in the United States. An overview of health care delivery along with chronicling the evolution of health care delivery in the United States will be covered. The course will provide students with an understanding of the law, the legal system, and the policy-making process as it relates to healthcare. Individual and patient rights in healthcare and public health initiatives will be addressed in addition to public health institutions and systems. Critical policy issues and issues related to specific patient populations such as long-term care, medical technology, government health insurance programs, and health service financing will be addressed in this course. The course will culminate with a critical look at the future of health care and health-care delivery systems.

HAP 515 Frameworks for Patient and Policy Advocacy in Health Care (3 credits)
This course will solidify the role of patient and policy advocacy in the United States health care system. A framework for patient and policy advocacy practice will be covered with an emphasis on tasks, skills and action. The specific skills of patient advocacy will be addressed with a focus on protecting the ethical rights of patients, improving patient quality of life and developing culturally competent advocacy skills. Advocacy knowledge and skills will be emphasized to promote prevention and assist patients to finance health care. Mental health service and community-based care advocacy will be addressed. Policy advocacy in healthcare, community and government settings will be covered. 

HAP 525 Critical Issues in Health Care Ethics (3 credits)
This course will address the significant and critical ethical issues evident in current healthcare practice and systems. The course will provide a strong foundation in the principles and theory in healthcare. Healthcare disparities will be addressed with a focus on populations with inadequate access to healthcare. Critical ethical issues related to healthcare will be identified and studied including areas such as physician-assisted death, domestic violence, human cloning and spirituality. Ethical considerations related to older adults such as long-term care and assisted living will be covered. The ethics of healthcare reform will be studied in an effort to look toward the future of healthcare and potential ethical issues.

HAP 530 A Strengths Based Approach to supporting Consumers Through the Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care (3 credits)
This course provides an understanding of the psychosocial issues that are present in the context of healthcare and healthcare delivery. The course will address patient-professional relationships and provide the necessary knowledge and skills for working effectively with patients in the healthcare environment. Students will learn and practice the basic helping skills that support patients’ movement through healthcare systems. The course employs developmental and strengths-based frameworks to understand the psychosocial aspects of illness, disability and chronic conditions. Culture and spirituality will be covered as critical components of understanding patients and their healthcare needs. The significance of cultivating and recognizing support systems will be addressed related to recovery, coping, loss and grief. 

HAP 535 Medical Aspects of Chronic Disease and Disability (3 credits)
This course will provide students with an understanding of chronic disease and disability. A review of basic anatomy, physiology and body systems will provide context for studying the characteristics, functional limitations and individual implications that specific disabilities and chronic diseases have on individuals. Students will gain knowledge of medical terminology and medical specialty areas utilized for treatment of disability and chronic disease. A comprehensive overview of health conditions, diseases, disabilities and disorders will be covered. This course will use a person-in-context approach to understand functional abilities and the impact of disease and disability on activities and participation in all aspects of an individual’s life.

OR

HAP 545 Psychiatric Disabilities and Mental Health System Navigation (3 credits) This course will provide an overview of psychiatric disorders using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5).  In the United States the DSM serves as the universal authority for diagnosing psychiatric disorders and is used to determine payment by healthcare providers. This course will also provide students with an understanding of mental health service delivery systems. Historical trends leading toward community mental health systems will be covered along with the ecological theoretical models on which community mental health services are based. Prevention programs and crisis intervention will be addressed as important components to the community mental health system. Future trends in community mental health services will be covered with specific attention paid to the growing older adult population and behavioral healthcare. 

HAP 555 Core Curriculum for Case Management in Health Care (3 credits)
This course will provide the foundational core curriculum for case management in healthcare settings. The history and evolution of case management will be covered to provide a context for the role of the case manager in healthcare settings. The preparation of case managers will be addressed specifying the necessary education, training and certification for effective practice. The case management process will be delineated and studied with attention paid to the role of the case manager in the process. Specific settings for case managers such as palliative care, hospice, acute care, home care and rehabilitation will be covered.  Case management for life care planning, workers’ compensation, disability and occupational health, disease management, geriatrics and behavioral health will be addressed to provide a comprehensive understanding of case management in healthcare. Legal and ethical issues related to the practice of case management will be covered. 

Year 2 (18 credits):

HAP 600 Management and Supervision for Health Care Professionals (3 credits)

This course will provide an overview of basic management functions and the leadership skills necessary for effective healthcare supervision. Topics covered will span the vast knowledge and skill areas associated with effective healthcare business management and leadership. Management functions such as position descriptions, personnel recruitment, training and orientation, safety and workplace violence, motivation, reward and recognition, and conflict resolution will be covered. Cultural diversity within the workplace will be addressed. Practical management functions such as time management, decision making, effective meetings, delegation and coping with stress and burnout will be covered. The course is a practical and skill-based approach to management within healthcare organizations. 

HAP 610 Research in an Evidence-Based Health Care Environment  (3 credits)
This course is the first part of a two course sequence that will address the translation of research evidence to quality healthcare practices, programs, systems, policies and initiatives. An overview of Evidence-based practice models to understand the process of combining the best available research evidence with knowledge and skill to make effective decisions within the context of healthcare will be covered. The critical appraisal of research as a systematic, unbiased, careful examination of a study to determine its merits, limitations, meaning and value will be emphasized. The course will cover quantitative research, qualitative research, mixed methods research, data analysis and institutional review board procedure. 

HAP 620 Health Advocacy Practicum and Seminar (3 credits)
This is the first part of a two-part supervised professional field placement experience. Students will complete 100 hours on-site in an approved healthcare setting where they will integrate theory, knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. Students will begin to develop a professional identity as a healthcare advocate and understand the various contexts of advocacy. Students will demonstrate skills, knowledge and attitudes consistent with strengths-based, culturally competent, evidence-based, person-in-context and systems frameworks of practice. Students will attend a weekly group supervision seminar as part of the practicum experience. 

HAP 621 Advanced Health Advocacy Practicum and Seminar​ (3 credits)

This is the second part of a two-part supervised professional field placement experience. Students will complete 100 hours on-site in an approved healthcare setting where they will integrate theory, knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. Students will continue to develop a professional identity as a healthcare advocate and understand the various contexts of advocacy. Students will continue to demonstrate skills, knowledge and attitudes consistent with strengths-based, culturally competent, evidence-based, person-in-context and systems frameworks of practice. Students will attend a weekly group supervision seminar as part of the practicum experience. 

HAP 630 An Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Policy Analysis (3 credits)
This course will provide an in-depth analysis of healthcare policy. Healthcare policy will be framed from multiple perspectives, specifically economics, political science, management, technology, communications and public health. The policy analysis process will be delineated to provide a framework for critically analyzing and assessing past and current healthcare policy. The policy analysis process will be used to consider health technology assessment, evidence-based medicine, political feasibility, economic feasibility and values. Analysis of past and current healthcare policy will occur along with identifying alternatives for future policy. The course will examine the role and function that healthcare providers and leaders can bring to the policy-making process. 

HAP 631 Evidence-Based Health Advocacy Research Symposium (3 credits)
This course is the second part of a two course sequence that will address the translation of research evidence to quality healthcare practices, programs, systems, policies and initiatives. Students will develop a healthcare model, initiative, program, system, intervention, legislative initiative or policy utilizing relevant scholarly research and by employing the process of securing research-based evidence to support scholarly practice. Students will identify a problem or need area in healthcare, conduct a literature review, choose a research design, collect data, analyze and utilize data to develop their final project. The course will culminate with students presenting their final projects to faculty, graduate students and selected healthcare professionals.

PART-TIME COURSE SEQUENCE
Course descriptions are the same as above. Course schedule below assumes 2 courses taken over 2 semesters.

Year 1
HAP 505 A Systems Approach to Delivering Health Care in America
HAP 515 Frameworks for Patient and Policy Advocacy in Health Care
HAP 530 A Strengths Based Approach to supporting Consumers Through the Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care
HAP 535 Medical Aspects of Chronic Disease and Disability
OR
HAP 545 Psychiatric Disabilities and Mental Health System Navigation

Year 2
HAP 525 Critical Issues in Health Care Ethics
HAP 555 Core Curriculum for Case Management in Health Care
HAP 600 Management and Supervision for Health Care Professionals
HAP 630 An Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Policy Analysis

Year 3
HAP 610 Research in an Evidence-Based Health Care Environment 
HAP 620 Health Advocacy Practicum and Seminar
HAP 621 Advanced Health Advocacy Practicum and Seminar 
HAP 631 Evidence-Based Health Advocacy Research Symposium