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Introduction into Health Disparities

Session C: August 3 - August 13, 2021
1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Philosophy and Society
My Nguyen
Jennifer Paul

Introduction into Health Disparities offers students an overview on the current state of health disparities nationally and globally. In this course, students will gain a basic understanding of racial, gender, age, disability, and mental health disparities. This course will explore underlying causes of some health disparities including inequalities in social determinants of health, health policy, and racism in medicine. Lastly, students will learn about the cost of health disparities. Throughout this module, students will listen to lectures, partake in multi-modal learning activities, read peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, listen to guest speakers and engage in class discussions to meet learning goals. On the last day of class, students will deliver a group presentation on a disparity of their choosing.

Goals for Students:

  1. Gain a basic awareness of the current health disparities in the United States.
  2. Understand underlying causes of health disparities, as well as the cost.
  3. Increase student professionalism, teamwork, presentation, and communication skills by actively participating in class activities and group presentations.


Group Research Presentation: Students in groups of 2-3 will pick a health disparity of interest to deliver a final presentation on for the last day of class. The presentation will include a background on the disease or determinant, and the population in which the disparity is present in. It must also include at least one visual representation (photograph, drawing, diagram, etc) created by group members, and summarize one research article describing the disparity.

1. Introduction to Health Disparities
Course & Class Introduction
Lecture: Health Disparities 101
Activity: Social Determinants of Health Discussion
Presentation Assignment– Disparities in local communities selection

2. Racial Injustices
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Overview of racial health disparities
Activity: Racial Equity Toolkit
Research Presentation Assignment – Groups topic and visual selection; Read article to prepare for the next session

3. Gender Injustices
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Gender inequalities: Implications and Resistance
Activity: Article Discussion
Possible guest speaker
Activity/ Breakout Room: Final Presentation Assignment

4. Ages & Disability
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Exclusion of Age and Disability in US Healthcare System
Activity: Disability Awareness activity
Activity/ Breakout Room: Final Presentation Assignment
Possible guest speaker

5. Nutrition
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Diet-related health disparities and access to nutrition
Activity: Food deserts and food swamps
Assignment: Continue to work on final presentation

6. Mental Health
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Understanding Mental Health and Mental Wellness
Activity: Stream of Consciousness
Assignment: Continue to work on final presentation

7. Socioeconomic Policies & Institutionalized Racism
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Social, Economic, and Health Policy
Possible US Healthcare Policy guest speaker 
Activity: Institutionalized Racism
Research Presentation Assignment – Presentation Assembly and Practice

8. Cost of Health Disparities and Health Disparities during the time of pandemic
Attendance & Daily Overview
Lecture: Cost of Health Disparities
Activity: Health Disparities during COVID time
Activity: Breakout rooms for Final Presentation

9. Group Presentations
Attendance & Daily Overview
Group 1-4 Presentations
Group 5-7 Presentations