Global Health at HarvardX

What are the greatest challenges facing health systems now? How are these challenges identified and measured? In the case of an epidemic, disaster, or armed conflict, how do experts determine what health care interventions to use? Is it possible to eradicate diseases like Guinea worm, tuberculosis and HIV? How can we address mental health disorders, cancers, and non-communicable diseases and who is best equipped to do so?

HarvardX is excited to continue a tradition of engaging with educators and practitioners to address today’s most pressing challenges in global health.

In the fall of 2016 there will be a new course on Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster, presented by Professors Jennifer Leaning and Michael VanRooyen. This course from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and HarvardX seeks to prepare learners to recognize and analyze emerging challenges in the humanitarian field. Through four case-studies, the course explores the ethical and professional principles that guide humanitarian response to conflict and disaster. Participants will learn the legal and historical frameworks that shaped these principles, test their applicability to the challenges faced by humanitarian actors today.

Professor Alyssa Goodman will be leading a course on John Snow and the Cholera Epidemic of 1854. In about three weeks, over 600 people died and this incident was, tragically, not unusual in London or the rest of the 19th century world as a whole. The scourge of cholera seemed unstoppable and, even worse, unpredictable. But one doctor -- ignored by the scientific community at large -- set out to prove that he knew how cholera was spread. This one-week, immersive learning experience will explore John Snow’s London, from the streets of Soho to the dataset that helped create the map that changed our understanding of cholera and epidemiology forever.

In the winter of 2015-2016 we had four global health courses:

Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, presents Lessons from Ebola: Preventing the Next Pandemic will focus in on the recent Ebola outbreak. This course explores what happened at all level - from the local counties to the regional response and ultimately the global response. It asks the important question of what needs to be done now to prevent the next pandemic.

In Readings in Global Health, Acting Dean David Hunter of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, guides learners through a series of discussions with leading experts as they engage with current issues and challenges in global health. The backbone of this learning experience is a set of 18 reviews, co-edited by David Hunter and Harvey Fineberg, and the editorial team at The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), where it was initially published.

A team of physician-anthropologists, Arthur Kleinman, Paul Farmer, Anne Becker, and Salmaan Keshavjee present an interdisciplinary framework for understanding global health problems in Global Health Case Studies from a Biosocial Perspective. This biosocial analysis goes historically deep and geographically broad to understand global health problems aim aims to identifies concrete and effective interventions.

Developed through a collaboration between HarvardX and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), PH 556x: Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A roadmap for getting results will provide learners with the valuable skills and simple, well-tested tools they need to translate promising innovations or evidence into practice. A group of expert faculty from Harvard and IHI, including Don Goldmann, MD, David M. Williams, PhD, and Don Berwick MD, MPP, FRCP will explore a scientific approach to improvement — a practical, rigorous methodology that includes a theory of change, measurable aims, and iterative, incremental small tests of change to determine if improvement concepts can be implemented effectively in practice. Faculty will present this science through the lens of improving health and health care, but will also share examples of how improvement can (and does) influence our daily lives.

New courses currently being developed!