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Integrated Health Policy


Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None

Pathway Associations

Community Change
Interpersonal PracticeElective
Mgmt & Leadership
Policy & PoliticalElective (Host)
Program Evaluation
Older Adults
Children & Families

Course Description

This course will examine the integration of policies, financing, organization and delivery of physical health and behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse) care services and programs for adults, youth and children. The primary focus of study will be the U.S. healthcare system, with international comparisons, including promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services in primary care, acute care, chronic care, and long-term care settings. The evolution of the integration of primary care and behavioral health care services will constitute the focus of our policy analysis. Historical and contemporary policy issues and trends, including ethical dilemmas, controversies, marginalized and stigmatized populations, social movements and the role of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as they affect access to care and health care quality will be discussed.


1. Describe the evolution, organization, and distribution of health care services in the U.S., including gaps and excesses, and inequities in access and quality of care, including physical and behavioral health services.
2. Identify the strengths and limitations of the U.S. healthcare system compared with health care systems in other countries and directions for needed change.
3. Describe financing mechanisms for health care services, including physical and behavioral health care, and the impact of these mechanisms on equity, access and successful integration of services.
4. Describe evidence-based models for health care delivery including integrated physical and behavioral health care services in a variety of settings and addressing a variety of populations.
5. Describe disparities in health care in the U.S., their sources, and systemic strategies for intervention.
6. Identify the role of government in health care policy and in planning, organizing, and delivering health and behavioral health services, including advocating for systems change.
7. Identify, describe and discuss the key elements of the Affordable Care Act, and assess progress toward implementation at the federal and state levels.
8. Discuss current ethical issues and controversies and apply ethical principles and decision-making in health care.
9. Identify the role of social work in policy development, services planning and delivery of health care and behavioral health care services.
10. Discuss innovative approaches to improving health care access, quality and delivery, particularly addressed to eliminate health care inequities


The course will utilize a combination of lecture, in class exercises, discussion, and online activities.

Intensive Focus on Privilege, Oppression, Diversity and Social Justice (PODS)

This course integrates PODS content and skills with a special emphasis on the identification of theories, practice and/or policies that promote social justice, illuminate injustices and are consistent with scientific and professional knowledge. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods, this course will support students developing a vision of social justice, learn to recognize and reduce mechanisms that support oppression and injustice, work toward social justice processes, apply intersectionality and intercultural frameworks and strengthen critical consciousness, self-knowledge and self-awareness to facilitate PODS learning.

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