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PBHE606 - Disaster Health Management

Course Details

Course Code: PBHE606 Course ID: 2825 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course focuses on the principles, types, and forms of health management systems that exist to serve public needs during society’s most threatening crises. Topics range from international and national political and policy views of disaster health management down to local levels where leading hospitals and emergency managers must respond to public health disasters on a daily basis.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

• Assess prevention and control measures associated with disasters.
• Analyze the use of Epidemiologic methods in disasters.
• Demonstrate health care issues that confront emergency management decision makers.
• Assess health care issues that confront emergency management decision makers.
• Appraise concepts associated with the necessary abilities to enter and contribute to the growing public health and/or emergency management professions.


Please join the forums each week. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the week ends to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.


  • Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesday.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 450 words.
  • Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 200 words.
  • Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
  • All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.
  • Forum rubric is included in the forum section of the course
  • Additional guidelines for week one forum introduction are included in the forum tab within the course
  • More specific instructions for each forum can be found in the forum tab within the course.
  • Please refer to the Forum Rubric for details about grading criteria, late policy, etc.

Students will be responsible for providing a peer response posting for at least two (2) of their peers’ postings, unless there are less than 3 students in the course, where only one (1) peer posting will be required. Your peer postings should challenge or expound upon at least one of the points made by your peer. “I agree” does not constitute as an adequate response. As undergraduate students, you will be expected to provide comprehensive, relevant and well supported points in your assignments.

We all bring something unique to the classroom, from our understanding, our experiences, and our value systems. We honor and respect each person’s diverse beliefs to help us see beyond the classroom to be the most effective individuals we can be. Therefore, we should all be respectful of others while expressing our viewpoints and opinions. Proper netiquette behavior is expected. Any inflammatory, demeaning or disrespectful language in a posting will be immediately removed from the discussion space.


FEMA Online Trainings: There are five online trainings that are required for this course. These assignments are completed at the FEMA website and the link and details are provided in the assignment tab.

Week 4: Community Assets and Disaster Management: Write a 5-7 paged paper and include: title page, an introduction, the body in which all items below are addressed and references cited, a well-defined conclusion, and reference page. You will need to write clearly and concisely to address all items in 5 pages. Your paper must include at least 5 scholarly references (no Wikipedia!). References should be scholarly peer reviewed journal articles, official reports or from other reading resources. Avoid using secondary sources like non-scholarly websites or textbooks.

One of the major challenges during the initial phase of a disaster is integrating the public health and emergency management assets. Your assignment is to assess how your community emergency medical services organizations, medical treatment facilities (i.e., hospitals, clinics, stand-alone ERs), and public health assets plan to work together to mitigate the loss of life during a disaster scenario. Have the new facilities of stand-alone ERs and urgency care centers been incorporated into your community’s overall surge capacity?

Your paper should address the following:

  1. Identify a potential disaster likely to impact your community or region.
  2. Evaluate available trauma assets, emergency management services, hospitals, clinics, etc.
  3. Your community’s potential level of preparedness.
  4. The hospital and other parts of the healthcare systems role in responding to a disaster.

Week 7: Final paper on Disaster Health Management: An important component of this course is the final paper. You will draft a county-level disaster and public health policy plan. Research the disaster management plan and policy in your area and develop a new policy to address a novel or emerging threat to your community.

Your paper should address the following:

  1. Partnership with state and federal agencies
  2. Disaster management cycle
  3. Public health and hospital assets
  4. Volunteer utilization plan and strategy
  5. Emergency Operation Plan
  6. Logistics
  7. Any other relevant areas that you need to discuss in developing you plan. You must have a clearly stated vision, objective, and mission for your plan.

Your final paper (and all assignments) must follow American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines for references and bibliographic citation. Refer to the APA Publication Manual (6th ed.). Other APA websites are available through the Library.

  • More specific instructions for each assignment can be found in the Assignment tab within the course.
  • Assignments submitted late without advance notice AND instructor approval will receive a 5% per day late penalty and will not be accepted for grading five (5) days past the due date.
  • Refer to the Lessons and Resources sections in the classroom for information about all readings in this course.
  • Each week’s Lesson contains all the material for the week.
  • For most weeks, course readings are a mix of professional sources (such as peer-reviewed journal articles and governmental publications) and “popular” sources, such as newspaper articles, professional magazine articles, and websites intended for the public. All required course readings are freely downloadable from the course website or from other websites.
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.