Health problem (5 points): For this step, the student merely needs to specify what health issue they aim to tackle and on what population they wish to make an impact. A short summary is required, and should state a precise health problem. For instance, the student could specify “improving colorectal cancer screening among adults” as opposed to “address cancer screening.” The first specifies a specific health problem and population, whereas the second does not (see rubric and example for details). The student should not begin their full paper until they receive approval (i.e., full credit of 5 points) for this step. A student may receive feedback from the course instructor or TA that they may need to refine their idea before proceeding.
Naming the population is essential for 2 reasons. All problems don’t affect all populations equally, so narrowing your scope (if appropriate) can increase the chances of success. Further, government is practiced on a geographical basis: the nation, states, counties, cities, for example. Your problem and ideas for solution need to match up with an appropriate, interesting jurisdiction/population.
Example health and health policy areas for this assignment include, but are not limited to the following (the student should pick a precise, specific issue within one of these categories):
-Healthcare finance and insurance coverage
-Medical and related marijuana issues
-Violence and violence prevention (e.g., child maltreatment, gun violence)
-Mental/behavioral health services
-Medical information privacy, confidentiality, security, etc.
-Licensure or regulation of health service providers
-End-of-life issues (e.g., physician-assisted dying)
-Vaccine development and distribution
-Healthcare technology production and use (e.g., 3D bioprinting)
-Climate change and health
-Child and maternal health
-Other special population health considerations (e.g., Transgender and gender diverse persons; military health)
-Other major health diagnoses or treatment (e.g., cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity)
-Drug and pharmaceutical industry matters
-Healthy food access and choices
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