The global response to conflict and humanitarian crisis commonly involves charitable giving accompanied by a generous, but relatively unguided, sharing of time and expertise by health practitioners.

Within the professional literature, a small but steady stream of scientific papers, guidelines and recommendations have evolved, aimed at ensuring a more consistent, more organized, and more technically sound response to those in need.  As a result, high priority interventions have been identified, and a relatively clear public health approach to emergency relief has emerged.

The distance Humanitarian Health Care Certificate Program offers insight into these evidence-based guidelines and public health interventions with the global capacity to serve those whose lives have been disrupted by emergencies and disasters.

The certificate program is 16 semester hours, divided among six selected courses form the Master of Public Health program:  three elective courses in the areas of humanitarian and refugee health, health and human rights, and global health and leadership.

There are three core courses in the areas of health policy, epidemiology, and program implementation and evaluation.  Each course will provide students with an opportunity to apply new knowledge and skills to humanitarian problems.

A certificate in Humanitarian Healthcare from Salus University is advantageous for professionals who:

  • Work in volunteer humanitarian projects but seek addition skills for building sustainable programs;
  • Have degrees in healthcare professions and wish to enter the field of humanitarian healthcare; and/or
  • Wish to pursue an MPH degree in the future and want to earn credits to apply later towards that goal


Course Descriptions

Humanitarian and Refugee Health

CHS-PHE-5530-AA | 3 credit hours
Addresses the provision of basic health requirements for refugees and the coordination of care among the agencies concerned with them.  Course focuses on the true needs of populations displaced by natural or man-made disasters, and students learn to apply epidemiological information toward designing and monitoring relief activities and health services.  Course emphasis on the importance of other issues surrounding displaced persons, as well as the value of collaborating with the affected community, local and international organizations, host governments, the United Nations, military forces, and the media.

Introduction to Health Policy

CHS-PHE-5000-AA | 3 credit hours*
Surveys theory and practice in the management and policy sciences applied to the field of public health.  Topics include global health systems and legal bases of public health; public policy institutions and decision-making processes; methods of policy analysis, and management and decision-making within public and private sector health care institutions.  Emphasis is domestic and global.

Fundamentals of Epidemiology 1

CHS-PHE-5030-AA | 3 credit hours*
Introduces students to principles and concepts in epidemiology through lectures, discussion groups, assigned readings and exercises.  Students are given the opportunity to acquire an understanding of these principles and concepts, the vocabulary of epidemiology, methods of epidemiologic investigation, and the design, interpretation, and evaluation of epidemiologic research.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health Care

CHS-PHE-5500-AA | 2 credit hours
The primary objective of this course is to prepare students to read and interpret cost-effectiveness studies.  Initial focus of the course is on understanding basic economic concepts that are needed in order to understand the recommendations from the United States Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine.  Distinction between opportunity costs and budgetary costs are made, as the recommendations from cost-effectiveness research reports are analyzed.  As the course progresses, the relationship between cost-effectiveness results and other elements of the health care policy decision-making process are discussed to gain a better understanding of how to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses and apply these concepts in humanitarian projects.

Program Implementation and Evaluation

CHS-PHE-5003-AA | 3 credit hours
This interactive course introduces the basic concepts of public health practice and evolves to include a series of simulated public health practice exercises that clearly demonstrate the applicability of the basic concepts.  Students gain a thorough understanding of types of program evaluation (needs assessment, formative research, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis) essential for an effective and successful public health practice.  Applications to humanitarian health care are included.

Epidemiologic Study Design and Grant Writing

CHS-PHE-5505-AA | 1 credit hour
Students will derive a thorough understanding of experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs, including strengths and limitations of each.  The course also outlines the methodological and logistic problems involved in designing and conducting epidemiologic studies.  Students participate in the preparation of a research protocol for a study in human populations.

*Denotes MPH core requirements, as designated by Council Education in Public Health