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Curriculum

 Many Paths. One Goal. Excellence.

Curriculum
The master’s program is a joint academic program between Anna Maria College and BIDMC Fellowship in Disaster Medicine Program. Dr. Greg Ciottone serves as the program Medical Director and is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 
 
The courses are taught live at Anna Maria College, BIDMC Disaster Medicine campus and Harvard Medical School by a combined Master Program faculty.
 
The Master of Science in Health Emergency Management involves coursework coupled with three on-ground, hands-on simulations per year. The three, multi-day simulation exercises will take place over an academic year at or near Anna Maria College's campus in Paxton, located minutes from Worcester.
 
The program curriculum includes 12, eight-week courses delivered over six terms and the degree can be obtained in one year provided students take two courses per term. The program is 42 credits, which includes 12 courses (3 credits each), 3 simulation exercises (totaling 6 credits) and the option for a thesis.
 
Students must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the program, with a grade no lower than B- in any individual course. This excludes the thesis, which is graded pass/fail.
 
Courses:

GRS 600 - Ethical Theory

This course seeks to acquaint the student with tools for responding to ethical dilemmas in professional experience and life, especially as these relate to contemporary issues of social justice in the workplace and civic life. Students will be introduced to the logical reasoning skills necessary to form valid arguments and engage with key theories (Virtue Ethics, Deontology, and Consequentialism) in the historical development of ethical thinking. In keeping with the mission of the college, there will be special attention to an examination of the intellectual and theoretical perspectives that form ethical theory and practice within the Judeo-Christian tradition. Although the course will not have the scope to cover the foundations and history of any religious tradition, discussion of the application of the "key theories" to participants' own religious or philosophical background will be welcomed.

HEM 601 - Clinical Foundations for Health Emergency Management

This course provides an introduction to the study of emergency management, its history, and current functions in the public and private sectors. Key theories, concepts, and ethical considerations are introduced. It illustrates the need for integrated, collaborative operations; the grounding in data and analysis; and the focus on prevention and continuous improvement.

HEM 616 - Health Emergency Management Operations and Quality

Introduces operations frameworks in the United States such as the Incident Management System (ICS), the National Interagency Incident Management System (NIMS), and the National Response Plan (NRP). Other frameworks used by NGOs, the military, and international organizations are compared. The need for organization, pre-planning, and coordination is integrated with the need to expand structures and adapt plans when handling complex incidents and large, pre-planned events.

HEM 619 - Health Emergency Systems and Environmental Risks

This course builds a conceptually sound basis for identifying potential causes of emergency events, estimating their probability and severity, evaluating community vulnerability, systematically identifying mitigation strategies, and selecting from among options. Methods for studying new or rare threats for which there are scant data are included. The essential links between sustainable development and effective hazard mitigation are stressed.

HEM 634 - Public Health Hazards Planning and Response

The major areas of focus in this course are infectious disease outbreaks, food-or water-borne illnesses, and incidents involving the intentional release of hazardous agents. Management strategies are reviewed, including surveillance and detection of agents or affected individuals, prevention of exposure to agents of concern, capacity and resource planning, collaboration with the medical and public health communities, and actions in multiple casualty/fatality events. Case studies are stressed.

HEM 636 - International Threats and Disasters

This course provides an overview of the motivations, tools, and impacts of terrorist activities. Intentional actions by individuals or groups are examined in the context of case studies. The role of social, political, physical, legal, in information-based strategies is examined. Special emphasis is placed on critical infrastructure mitigation planning.

HEM 638 - Medical Engineering and Technology

This course focuses on defining and developing techniques, analytics and methods (TAM) needed to assess and creatively manage support facilities, public health systems and fusion centers for responding to and recovering from health emergency incidents. Topics cover include: basic ideas of control theory, tele-health and barriers to control health emergencies. Through structured laboratory and open-ended project work, students will become familiar with applications of TAM in health systems design, emergency operations coordination and reducing risk of communicable disease transmissions.

HEM 646 - Building Sustainable Coalitions for Health Emergency Management

This course examines the types of coalitions needed to integrate all community components in emergency management. It reviews tools for creating interagency agreements and public-private partnerships that may include businesses, non-governmental organizations, non-profit institutions, volunteers, and community members. Course components model the interpersonal and communication skills needed to establish respectful, collaborative, and sustainable relationships.

HEM 652 - Theory and Logistics of Mass Gathering Disaster Response

This course addresses planning for acquiring and using resources effectively through all phases of emergency management. Along with the managerial and leadership skills involved, strategies for efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability are stressed.

HEM 655 - Health Informatics and Public Education

This course addresses issues in communication that arise in all phases of emergency management and among all constituencies. Coordination of communication during operations includes considerations about interoperability and coordination of cooperating agencies under ICS. Media communication guidelines are included. Introduces concepts and theories of risk perception and communication that can guide more effective public communication and education programs.

HEM 700 - Biostatistics and Quantitative Methods

The course surveys standard research designs and methodologies. Students develop advanced skills in accessing authoritative materials to support research, practice analyzing data and drawing conclusions supported by the analysis, and envision outcomes and applications of research results. Ethical and confidentiality matters are addressed. Each student develops a viable research proposal for thesis work in EPR 701.

HEM 709 - Graduate Seminar Project

This graduate seminar project challenges the student to apply all aspects of their skills and abilities to solve, or present recommendations towards improving a documented deficient or outdated healthcare emergency management process. This project must be approved by the Dean and Program Director.

HEM 701 - Thesis (optional)

Under the supervision of a faculty advisor approved by the program director, the student produces a research paper in acceptable written format and defends it in a presentation to a review panel.

 
Simulations
Each simulation is a planned three-day, on-ground experience either on or close to Anna Maria College's campus in Paxton, Massachusetts. 
Simulation 1: Health Readiness Training, Drills and Exercises
Simulation 2: Humanitarian Health Assessment Systems and Risks
Simulation 3: Mass-gathering Disaster Health Incident and Recovery
 
Learning Outcomes
The overall goal of this degree is to use principles of evidence-based health emergency management to provide knowledge that integrates all emergency systems and dynamics needed to develop preventative disaster strategies as well as effective reactive practices.
 
Key outcomes:
Effective Communication
Students will be able to use high level written and verbal communication skills appropriate in health emergency management.
 
Students will be able to effectively coordinate communication efforts during operations which includes interoperability and coordination of cooperating agencies.
 
Leadership, management and decision-making
Students will be able to analyze the social, political, legal, economic, cultural, ecological and behavioral influence to explain the risks of vulnerability.
 
Students will formulate integrative preventative health emergency strategies and disaster plans for response and recovery while participating in rigorous simulations, including planning, prioritizing and deploying appropriate resources.
 
Students will be able to formulate types of coalitions needed to integrate all community components in emergency management.
 
Personal, organizational and professional development
Students will employ their professional-based skills while participating as a valuable member of their community as it relates to health emergency management.
 
Students will relate their existing and new knowledge to communicate effectively as scholars or practitioners.
 
Students will practice managerial and leadership skills aimed at building collaborative working teams and engaged communities that effectively and efficiently use resources that are values-based and inherent in health emergency management.