Certificate in Health Policy Program

Invest In Your Future. Invest In Meharry.

Be a part of a rich tradition at Meharry Medical College where we equip our students with the education and tools necessary to face the world’s greatest health and healthcare challenges. The Health Policy Scholars Program provides many attractive benefits that prove to be a worthwhile investment upon graduation. Not only are you receiving a quality education in the classroom but the Center for Health Policy ensures to provide an overall, well-rounded experience beyond the classroom.

  1. Convenient classes. The program’s courses are only offered in the evenings on weekdays and during the summer to make it as convenient as possible for anyone to attend. Whether you are a full-time working professional or full-time student, there are courses available to accommodate your busy schedule and that are tailored to your educational and research interests.
  2. Small class sizes. On average, each class has approximately 15 students enrolled. Students can expect to receive one-on-one attention from our faculty.
  3. World-class faculty. One of our greatest assets is our faculty. Students gain access to the best scholars, researchers, and executives at the forefront of today’s health policy landscape. Courses are taught by Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University faculty as well as notable visiting professors. Through our Scholars-in-Residence Visiting Professor Program, we invite nationally renowned practitioners, sociologists, economists, political scientists, and health policy experts to guest lecture for our courses and special events. Past lecturers have included: David Williams, Ph.D., of Harvard University, Thomas LaVeist, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, Gail Christopher, D.N., of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, former Nashville mayor Bill Purcell, and Guy David, Ph.D., of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Distance learning. With the help of today’s technology, the Center for Health Policy is equipped with the latest videoconferencing software to offer distance learning options. Students can take classes from anywhere by logging into a virtual classroom to participate in live discussions taking place on campus.
  5. Mentorship. All of our faculty members, visiting professors and guest lecturers are available to provide mentorship opportunities that will further one’s career endeavors and research interests. Students have direct access to professors during office hours. We also connect students with practitioners during our Executive Roundtables, where senior executives serve as coaches and mentors to give one-on-one career advice and host group mentoring sessions.
  6. Professional development. The Center for Health Policy’s Professional Development Program provides a variety of training and development opportunities for affiliated faculty, fellows, and scholars. Throughout the academic year, we bring in consultants to teach workshops ranging from qualitative research training to academic writing and career development. During the summer months, we have sent students who wanted to enhance their research skills to attend training programs across the country. These programs include the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods, Media Training Institute at the RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, and the Workshop on Research Design for Causal Inference at Northwestern University.
  7. Paid summer externships. Our Summer Externship Program is designed for students to augment the health policy studies taking place in the classroom with experiential, real-world, experience in a policy work environment. We have partnerships with some of the nation’s largest and prominent health policy organizations, academic research institutions, and governmental agencies. Students are interviewed and competitively selected by the externship sites to spend 6-8 weeks doing health policy work. Learn more about the program here.
  8. Conference travel funding. Based on available budgeted funds, we select students to attend various national conferences, mostly during the summer months, and cover their travel and conference registration expenses. Preference is given to students who are presenting their research at a conference or seminar. In recent years, the Center’s students and staff have attended the following conferences and annual meetings:
    • AcademyHealth ARM
    • AcademyHealth Health Policy Confernece
    • American Economic Association (AEA)
    • American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
    • American Political Science Association (APSA)
    • American Public Health Association (APHA)
    • American Sociological Association (ASA)
    • International Conference on Health in the African Diaspora (I-CHAD)
    • National Dental Association (NDA)
    • National Medical Association (NMA)
    • Population Association of America
    • RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research Annual Meeting
  9. Networking events. The Center for Health Policy hosts a multitude of opportunities to network with fellow cohorts, faculty, visiting professors, and guest consultants. Health policy mixers, meet-and-greets, and socials create a casual environment to learn about each other’s research and educational interests. In the fall we host the Meharry-Vanderbilt Health Policy Partnership Reception, where we bring together both institutions to celebrate the accomplishments of the Center. During the spring we host the National Scholars’ Current Issues in Health Policy Lecture Series, which is a series of seminars aimed at creating a discussion around the latest health policy topics. Our Health Policy Writing Collaborative brings together students and faculty investigators for an opportunity to collaborate on research studies and manuscript submissions.
  10. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Leadership Network and Human Capital Network. As a student affiliated with our Center, you will have access to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s broad network of physicians, practitioners, researchers, students, and programs. The RWJF Leadership Network is a place for people who are professionally connected to RWJF to engage in discussion, and to share information about topics related to improving the health and health care of all Americans. The RWJF Human Capital Network is a community for RWJF Human Capital grantees, scholars, and alumni to connect with each other and Foundation staff, and share ideas, news, and resources. Additionally, students can contribute to the online health policy discussion by publishing articles on the Culture of Health Blog

Program Information

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 

Applicants must:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from a four-year, U.S. accredited institution
  • Have a minimum 3.00 GPA in all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Ensure they are in good academic standing with their current academic program
  • Enroll as a non-degree seeking student or in conjunction with their academic degree program.

This year, there are fifteen (15) slots available for Meharry students with full tuition remission towards completion of the health policy certificate. To qualify, current enrollment at Meharry Medical College as a medical, dental, Ph.D., or MSPH student, is required. Ph.D. students must have earned candidacy before applying. All requirements for the certificate must be met prior to completion of the regular degree program.

 

In addition to the above mentioned requirements, applicants must submit the following materials to apply:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
  4. Undergraduate and Current Graduate Transcripts

CERTIFICATE IN HEALTH POLICY REQUIREMENTS

 

All students who are accepted into the program are required to:

  • Complete a minimum of 12-credit hours by their anticipated graduation date (if currently enrolled) or within three years
  • Maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher in the student’s primary academic program
  • Maintain a 80% attendance rate in all classes

Tuition & FEES

 

This PDF serves as a guide to the average cost of the program.

Comparative Analysis of U.S. & International Health Care Systems(2 credit hours)
The course examines health systems from a global perspective. The primary goal of the course is to enable students entering or working within a health care system to describe the parts of systems and their interactions, the environment in which the systems exist, and the internal and external forces, and points of leverage that create opportunities for change. Although health systems vary widely in their structure and performance, there is substantial similarity in the issues they face. Differences between systems are often a matter of degree. The course addresses health systems from a system improvement perspective, and focuses on health systems analysis and evaluation, and health system reform. The course examines metrics used to evaluate health systems and the various components of health systems, including financing mechanisms, payment schemes, workforce, and the organization of health care organizations.

 

Introduction to Epidemiology/Biostatistics
Epidemiology: The overall purpose of this course is to introduce students to epidemiology so that they may understand how epidemiology contributes to: 1) identifying factors that cause diseases, 2) assessing the importance of diseases, 3) describing the natural history of diseases, and 4) evaluating procedures for preventing diseases. After completing this course, students should be able to understand the basic concepts, methods, and nomenclature of epidemiology, and the application of concepts and methods to current health problems. (1 credit hour)

 

Biostatistics: This course enables students to learn and apply basic principles and methodologies of statistical analysis. Students will gain insight into statistical reasoning, decision- making process, and scientific protocol applicable to the innovative health care delivery systems. Additionally, this course will apply descriptive techniques commonly used to summarize data; distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used based on these distinctions; describe basic concepts of probability, random variation, and commonly used statistical probability distribution; and specify preferred methodological alternatives to commonly used statistical methods when assumptions are not met. (1 credit hour)

 

Health Policy and Law (1 credit hour)
The theme of this course will be to focus on the complex integration of legislation, politics, finance, ethics, international awareness, and current events; in relation to the impact that each element has on the development and implementation of health policy, the conduct of research, and the delivery of healthcare in the United States.

 

Health Economics (2 credit hours)
This course provides a basic understanding of economic principles and methodology; it explains how economic principles and methodology apply to health policy. It explains the fundamental problems of economics and the unique aspects of the healthcare economy, and discusses key policy issues that economics, particularly microeconomics, helps to analyze and explain.

 

Introduction to Social Epidemiology (1 credit hour)
This course provides a basic understanding of the socioeconomic and behavioral determinants of population and individual health and their distribution in the geo-space. It provides some history of the study of this relationship between population and individual health and place.

 

Environmental Health Policy (1 credit hour)
Environmental health policy occupies a prominent position on both local and global agendas as old and new challenges confront the human race. There is a continual requirement for policies that will deal effectively with a seemingly never-ending supply of hazards, which impinge on health and wellbeing. This course provides a multidisciplinary window into environmental policy and its formulation.

 

Health Care Policy in the Genome Era (1 credit hour)
Health Care Policy in the Genome Era is a seminar style course that will examine the policy issues that arise due to, or are influenced by, our increasing understanding of the content, complexity and applications of our human DNA sequence. Participants will get a broad grasp of health policy areas currently or potentially influenced by genetic technologies followed by more in- depth examination of particular areas as selected by the class. Discussions will include what we, as a society, have done in the past, what we are doing now, and where we may go next.

 

Contemporary Ethical Issues in Health Policy (1 credit hour)
Contemporary Ethical Issues in Health Policy/Bioethics in Health is a seminar style course that will examine ethical issues arising from implemented health policies, and the role of ethics in determining health policies.

 

Social Dynamics of Mental Health (3 credit hours)
This course will investigate the major sociological issues and research findings in mental health and illness. The objective will be to better understand the social factors that determine the onset of mental illness as well as societal attitudes, behaviors and norms regarding those who are mentally ill. The course will be a combination of lecture and discussion.

 

The Challenges in Measuring Health Disparities: Politics, Policy and Methods (2 credits hours)
This course will discuss methodological issues around measuring health disparities and the costs of disparities, as well as the policy implications of this research. The course will address questions such as what is a disparity, how do investigators measure it, what are the data collection challenges, how have researchers overcome data and measurement problems, what is the impact of disparities, what are the kinds of policy strategies that are needed to address them, and how can researchers, advocates, and policymakers collaborate to build support for policy implementation.

 

Race, Ethnicity and Health (2 credits hours)
Fundamental to this course is the recognition of race and ethnicity as primary social determinants of health in the United States. The primary aim then is to explore the myriad social and behavioral factors that might underlie the associations among race, ethnicity, and health status outcomes. Because research designed to address this issue remains in its formative stages, the focus of the class will be: 1) To investigate state-of-the- science conceptual and methodological approaches to understanding social and behavioral determinants of health disparities; 2) To critically examine the fundamental scientific assumptions underlying health disparities research in an effort to better design future empirical approaches; 3) To characterize the potential intervention, prevention, treatment, and policy implications resulting from findings in the health disparities literatures.

 

Comparative Analysis of U.S. and International Health Care Systems (2 credits hours)
This course examines health systems from a global perspective. The primary goal of this course is to enable students entering or working within a health care system to describe the parts of systems and their interactions, the environment in which the systems exist, and the internal and external forces, and points of leverage that create opportunities for change. Although health systems vary widely in their structure and performance, there is substantial similarity in the issues they face. This course addresses health systems from a system improvement perspective, and focuses on health systems analysis and evaluation, and health system reform. This course examines metrics used to evaluate health systems and the various components of health systems, including financing mechanisms, payment schemes, workforce, and the organization of health care organizations.

 

Achieving Health Equity: Frameworks, Data Tools, and Policy Interventions (3 credits hours)
This course equips students with frameworks, data tools, and policy interventions to name, measure, and address the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. Lessons learned from understanding racism as a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value are generalized to provide understanding of other systems of structured inequity, including sexism, capitalism, nativism, and heterosexism.

 

Health Policy and Society (3 credit hours)
This course explores the intersection of societal change with health policy. The course incorporates numerous sociological theories (e.g., conflict, symbolic interaction, structural functionalism, etc.) to provide students with an introduction of health policy from societal standpoint. Students will become aware of the complexities of health policies and how it is oftentimes shaped by social change. This course is structured as a seminar. However, students will be actively engaged in discussions of relevant topics.

 

Health Policy & Society II (3 credit hours)
This course is a continuation of Health Policy & Society I. The course delves deeper into the intersection of societal changes in health policy incorporating sociological theories (e.g., conflict, symbolic interaction, structural functionalism, etc.) to provide students with a look at health policy from sociological perspectives. Students will study and explore the complexities of health policies and how they oftentimes shaped and influenced by social changes. This course is structured as a seminar. However, students will be actively engaged in discussions of relevant topics.

 

National Scholars’ Current Issues in Health Policy Lecture Series(Required, but not offered for credit)
This course is designed to provide opportunities for students to be engaged by known health policy professionals and analysts. These renowned individuals will present seminars on contemporary health policy issues.

 

Health Disparities & Health Policy (3 credit hours)
This course will examine the challenges and methods in the implementation of health disparities research and interventions. It is intended to both complement and expand the knowledge gained in other courses by focusing specifically on minority/underserved populations. The course will explore readings and foster discussions that will include: ethics and research in minority/ underserved communities; issues, barriers and facilitators to engaging minority/underserved communities in health research; examining basic research questions in minority health; understanding the application of research findings to program development; how to integrate theory and research, and issues and challenges of program implementation. An overarching goal is to increase awareness and knowledge of research on minority health, as well as unique issues to consider when engaging in public health research and practice in these communities.

 

Summer Institute on Health Policy (2 credit hours)
The Summer Institute on Health Policy consists of two weeks of intensive, accelerated coursework on topics related to health policy and the social sciences taught by an impressive lineup of nationally-renowned health policy scholars within the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology. It consists of two new course electives for the entire Meharry student community as well as for students of other institutions. Students will receive 2 credit hours per course toward the completion of their degree programs in the Medical, Dental, and Graduate Schools at MMC. The Summer Institute on Health Policy begins in June and lasts for two weeks. Each course meets for one week only. Registration is open to all students (and faculty) interested in health policy.

Application for admission to the Health Policy Scholars Program (also known as the Certificate in Health Policy Program) is considered complete when all materials have been received by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

 

APPLICATION MATERIALS

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Two Recommendation Letters
  4. Undergraduate and current Graduate Transcripts
  5. Curriculum Vitae or Resume (optional)
  6. Professional headshot or photograph

 

APPLICATION FORM

Complete the application online or print the PDF form. Email, mail, fax or deliver your application packet to the Office of Admissions & Recruitment. Email your application to hpadmissions@mmc.edu or fax to 615-327-6228.

Application Instructions (PDF)

Apply Online (Form)

 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Please answer the following question in essay format:

Why are you interested in the Certificate in Health Policy Program, and how will health policy enhance your educational and/or career endeavors? Also, please provide any previous health policy related activities, education, research, or employment you possess.

Your statement of purpose should be at least one page, double-spaced and typed in MS Word. Please attach the essay pages to the Application Form.

 

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS
Two (2) letters of recommendation must be completed by a current or previous faculty member or person(s) who are qualified to certify as to the applicant’s abilities or character before the respective deadlines. The letter must be written on official company letterhead, placed in a sealed envelope, and sent directly to the Office of Admissions & Recruitment or emailed to hpadmissions@mmc.edu

 

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS
Official transcripts must be obtained from all undergraduate and graduate institutions you attended. Please accompany all transcripts with your application form. The Committee will accept unofficial transcripts but prefer official transcripts.

 

COMPLETED APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE SENT DIRECTLY TO:

Meharry Medical College
Center for Health Policy
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd, Jr. Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37208

 

QUESTIONS?
Please email all inquiries to hpadmissions@mmc.edu

Contact the Health Policy Program

Center for Health Policy
Meharry Medical College
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37208-3501

A. Dexter Samuels, Ph.D.

Executive Director
Email: dsamuels@mmc.edu
Phone: (615) 327-6202