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Urban Health Summer Institute

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2021 Urban Health Summer Institute 
June 21 - 28, 2021

Online courses in urban health research and applied methods

The 2021 Urban Health Summer Institute will be held June 21-28, 2021. Courses are available for participants at all career levels, with a focus on skills training related to urban health, and earn CEU or CPH credit.

All courses are fully remote and offered online with live or self-paced instruction. To participate, access to a computer with high-speed internet access is required.

Introduction to GIS

Instructors: Alex Quistberg, PhD, MPH, Urban Health Collaborative, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Dates: Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25, 2021

Times: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

View the Course Description

The course is co-sponsored by the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. The CPHP is the home of the federally funded Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center, a collaborative project with the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health to increase the technical skills of the public health and health care workforce. The course is an introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course contains lectures and exercises in ArcGIS. The lectures introduce the basic concepts of GIS, data models, coordinate system and map projections, data management and processing, spatial analysis, spatial estimation, and GIS data visualization. Students will also learn how to use the fundamental knowledge and techniques of GIS to solve real-world problems. Through the exercises, students will get familiar with the interfaces and analysis tools in the ESRI software package ArcGIS. Students will also practice applying GIS as a tool and a methodological approach to spatially analyze environment and public health data.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand basic concepts and terms of GIS, and know how to spatially analyze data using ArcGIS.
  • Acquire spatial data that is relevant to urban health, e.g., census data, land use data, greenspace, road networks, satellite images, etc.
  • Build knowledge of data structure, data management, and coordination and projection systems.
  • Practice featuring symbols and making elegant maps in ArcGIS.
  • Apply the knowledge of GIS to solve research questions in urban health research.

Prerequisite knowledge: No prerequisite knowledge or skills are required for this course.

Technical requirements: A temporary license for Esri's ArcGIS Pro will be provided for participants to install on their computers. Students planning on using a Mac computer will need Boot Camp with Microsoft Windows installed in the partition or a virtual environment (Parallels 15 or greater).

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.5 CEU or 15 CPH

GIS Spatial Analysis for Urban Health

Instructors: Michelle Kondo, PhD,research social scientist, Philadelphia Field Station, USDA Forest Service

Dates: Friday, June 25 – Sunday, June 27, 2021

Times: Friday, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

View the Course Description

The goal of this intermediate course is to familiarize students with the applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to assess or evaluate urban health challenges, and potential solutions, with a focus on the Philadelphia context. Students are expected to have some prior experience with using GIS. Through hands-on exercises based on local case studies, students will gain practice in assessing the relationship between aspects of our environments (e.g. housing, trees and parks, food/nutrition) and health in Philadelphia. Class sessions will consist of briefs lectures and extensive hands-on computer lab exercises that students can tailor based on geographic location or health outcome interests.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Use GIS tools such as spatial overlays, interpolation and zonal statistics with both vector and raster data.
  • Utilize GIS tools in combination with basic statistics and graphing to answer urban health research questions.

Prerequisite knowledge: Knowledge of basic concepts and techniques of GIS or an introductory course in GIS is required. Prior basic knowledge of ESRI's ArcGIS Pro software is recommended for this course.

Technical requirements: A temporary license for Esri's ArcGIS Pro will be provided for participants to install on their computers.

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.7 CEU or 17 CPH

Introduction to R for Public Health Research

Instructors: Brian Lee, PhD, associate professor, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Dates: Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25, 2021

Times: 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

View the Course Description

This course is designed to provide students with a hands-on introduction to programming skills and analytic concepts in R. Participants will address analytical challenges that a public health data analyst might encounter. The focus of the course is not comprehensive knowledge of R, but rather a foundation of knowledge that can be expanded on after the course concludes. The interactive classes will feature a lecture component and a laboratory component. The RStudio environment will be the interface used for all classroom discussion.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Comfortably operate in the R environment.
  • Perform basic data management in R.
  • Understand generic programming concepts in R.
  • Analyze data in R.

Prerequisite knowledge:Prior experience with a statistical programming language (e.g., SAS, Stata) is recommended but not required.

Technical requirements: R and RStudio free software is available for participants to install on their computers.

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.5 CEU or 15 CPH

Introduction to Multilevel Analysis for Urban Health Research

Instructors: Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health; Usama Bilal, MD, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health; and Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, dean of Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Dates: Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25, 2021

Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

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Multilevel studies and multilevel analysis have been increasingly used in the public health field. This course will discuss the rationale for multilevel studies and multilevel analysis in public health as well as differences with other study designs and other analytical approaches. Although the course will not be heavily mathematical, the basics of fitting multilevel models for different types of outcomes as well as the interpretation of estimates obtained from multilevel models will be reviewed and practiced. Emphasis will be on conceptual understanding, application and interpretation of multilevel analysis in the context of urban health research. The course will also review and critique empirical applications in urban health research and discuss conceptual and methodological challenges in using multilevel analysis.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of multilevel studies and multilevel analysis and their differences with other study designs and analytical approaches.
  • Fit multilevel models and interpret estimates derived from them.
  • Be familiar with applications of multilevel analysis in urban health research.
  • Understand the strengths and limitations of multilevel analysis for urban health research.

Prerequisite knowledge: Knowledge of regression analysis (linear, logistic, Poisson) is required for this course.

Technical requirements: Participants will need access to SAS, Stata, or R software for the course. R free software is available for participants to install on their computers.

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.5 CEU or 15 CPH

Data Storytelling in Tableau: How to Convert Analytics into Insights

Instructors: Katherine Verstreate, MPH, data project manager, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Dates: Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25, 2021

Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

View the Course Description

Data is the most powerful tool in decision making, however sometimes it is difficult to show your audience significant or relevant findings. This course will focus on how to transform a raw dataset into a compelling interactive data dashboard that will guide an audience to see the insights within.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Use Tableau’s point and click software.
  • Utilize best practices in data visualization.
  • Incorporate interactive features that allow your audience to explore the data on their own.

Prerequisite knowledge: Prior experience in SAS, SPSS, STATA, R, or other statistical coding software is required for this course.

Technical requirements: Participants will need access to Microsoft Excel, a statistical software package (SAS preferred) and Tableau. Free teaching licenses for Tableau will be provided for this course.

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.5 CEU or 15 CPH

Applied Policy and Program Evaluation for Urban Health

Instructors: Pricila Mullachery, PhD, MPH, postdoctoral research fellow, Urban Health Collaborative, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health; Alina Schnake-Mahl, ScD, MPH, postdoctoral research Fellow, Urban Health Collaborative, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health. The instructors have experience working in the health-tech and government sectors where they conducted program and policy evaluation.

Dates:Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25, 2021

Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

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This course introduces tools to evaluate programs and public health policies in the context of urban health. The course provides hands-on training in the theoretical approach and practical application of evaluation methodology, ranging from methodologically rigorous quasi-experimental designs to small tests of change using a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) approach. The course will overview how to conduct various study design and analytical approaches, and the strengths and weaknesses of these methods. The course is designed to prepare practitioners and academics to identify appropriate approaches and methods for evaluating programs and policies, and to determine when, how, and under what circumstances an evaluation should be conducted. Course work will include critical assessments of strengths and weaknesses of previous urban health evaluations, problem sets for practicing methods of analysis, and short proposals of prospective evaluations.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals and applications of policy and program evaluation.
  • Understand the most common methodological approaches used to evaluate policies and programs in public health, and strengths and limitations of each approach.
  • Critically assess the appropriate study design and analysis method, based on the policy context, data availability, stakeholder buy-in, and timeline.

Prerequisite knowledge: Some prior experience with regression models is required.

Technical requirements: Instructors will use R and Stata software to demonstrate analytical approaches used in program and policy evaluation. Access to R or Stata is recommended if participants want to follow along but not required. R free software is available for participants to install on their computers. Code will be provided in the course material.

Continuing Education Credits*: 1.5 CEU or 15 CPH

Utilizing Electronic Health Records in Epidemiological Analysis

Instructors: Neal D. Goldstein, PhD, MBI, assistant research professor, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Dates: Monday, June 28, 2021

Times: 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Format: Online, live instruction

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Increasingly data mined from the electronic health record (EHR) are being used in epidemiological research. But more data does not equate to better quality research. This workshop will cover the basics of working with EHRs and designing valid epidemiological analyses. The workshop will include a mix of didactic lecture and interactive group exercises. Participants are requested to provide planned or active research questions in advance, as these will form the basis of the group exercises.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate epidemiological study designs using EHR data for both inpatient and outpatient settings, with particular focus on urban locations.
  • Understand the architecture of the EHR along with terminology and data standards.
  • Discuss data requirements in the EHR, including data export, linkage, and variable manipulation (e.g., parsing data from free text).
  • Identify common pitfalls in working with EHR data and where to go for additional resources.

Prerequisite knowledge: Intermediate knowledge of epidemiology is required.

Technical requirements: There is no required software for the course.

Continuing Education Credits*: .4 CEU or 4 CPH

Climate Change and Health in Cities: Evidence to Action

Instructors: Ione Avila-Palencia, PhD, MPH, postdoctoral research fellow, Urban Health Collaborative, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

This short online course is offered in a flexible self-paced format, equivalent to approximately 4 hours of classroom instruction. The course does not have set meeting times. Course material will be available June 21, 2021. Students will have 90 days to complete the self-paced course.

Format: Online, self-paced

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This self-paced, online course will cover an introduction to climate change’s impact on urban health. The course will provide an overview of different climate change effects in cities (environment, health, inequalities) as well as projected changes in the climate system. This course will also review some potential solutions and research areas that can be applied to urban areas. Online course material will include video-based lectures, self-assessments, reading material and real-world examples.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the scientific basis of observed climate change effects and projected changes in the climate system.
  • Identify possible actions and strategies to reduce climate change impacts in urban settings.
  • Identify research gaps and methodologies that can be applied in future research to address effects on climate change and urban health

Prerequisite knowledge: No prerequisite knowledge or skills are required for this course.

Technical requirements: There are no technical requirements for this course

Continuing Education Credits*: .4 CEU or 4 CPH

*Continuing Education Credits:

CEU credits are a nationally recognized unit of continuing education measurement that is required for various professions and licenses to practice.

CPH credits are required for Public Health Professionals who hold a Certificate of Public Health from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. All CPH must report at least 50 recertification credits every two years.

About the Urban Health Summer Institute

The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative hosted the inaugural Summer Institute in June 2016. The Institute offers short courses in urban health research for students, researchers, public health and allied professionals. Courses provide participants with opportunities and tools to improve and understand health in cities.

Matt Kleinmann, a doctoral student in architecture at the University of Kansas, participated in the 2016 Summer Institute. He produced a short video about the program.