Global Health Track Capstone Class

The course explores how to approach persistent administrative and policy problems using a case-based interdisciplinary approach. It draws from the disciplinary skills and knowledge of students in the course and challenges students to use that knowledge in collaborative and creative ways to solve real world problems. Students take on an administrative, strategy, or policy problem in interdisciplinary teams. Building on each disciplinary strength–social work and social welfare frameworks, policy analysis, law, medicine, and business (management, financial, etc.) – students provide a set of recommendations and an action plan to approach the health problem. Cases are provided by the instructor; students have the opportunity to express their preferences regarding the cases. The course includes numerous cases and focuses on the process of interdisciplinary teamwork as well as on addressing health inequities as part of solving the complex problem.

Team Based Learning

In the GPHAP capstone course, Key Issues in Health Care: An Interdisciplinary Case Studies Approach, interdisciplinary teams of students work on complex problems faced by organizations in the health care field. Approximately seven teams are formed, each with one business, one policy, one social work, and one law student. Each team receives a different complex problem that is actually being grappled with by organizations in the field. The team is then charged with coming up with an interdisciplinary solution that brings the strengths and knowledge of each of the disciplines to solve the problem. The teams meet several times with the case mentor, often a senior executive at the organization. Each team has an opportunity to report on their progress to a panel of experts that includes the case mentor. All the students in the class hear those presentations so the learning goes beyond just one’s own case. The teams are responsible for presenting recommendations to the organization at the end of the course.

Previous Case Examples

SafeCare was established in 2010 with joint efforts by PharmAccess Foundation, Joint Commission International, and the Council for Health Accreditation of Southern Africa, with the goal of promoting objective measurement and improvement of quality standards for basic healthcare facilities in Africa. SafeCare currently provides quality improvement standards and capacity building in five countries in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia. The team researched how to transition the model to another continent beyond Africa, using India as a case example.

The team conducted a widespread literature review and pursued key informant interviews to determine the best social media applications (apps) and health messaging to disseminate information about general HIV and STIs information and testing resources, PrEP information, in a way that both stigma reductive and motives people to consider testing as a way to take care of oneself and their community.

In India, injured people are less likely to reach a medical facility in a timely manner to allow proper medical treatment.  As a result, there is an increase in preventable fatalities. The team proposed the development of an effective and integrated system centered on a control center which will enhance communication and coordination of existing systems. 

  • Maternal Health in Haiti: Education and Execution Plan for Management of Preeclampsia
  • Shoulder to Shoulder: Children’s Nutrition Program in Honduras
  • Save a Mother (SAM) Foundation: Maternal Health in India
  • Arogya World: Addressing Chronic Diseases in India
  • Sexual & Reproductive Health for Women and Girls in Malawi