Healthcare in the U.S. - A Systemic Look


Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

community and international health
systems theory variety of disciplines
A systemic look at Health Care in the US: Where we are, how we got here, and where do we go from here?
This program will examine the history of the health care system in the US to help us understand the development of our current system, social and economic dynamics of our current situation, where people have no or limited means to pay for their care, and where illness is a major cause of bankruptcy. And despite money invested by families, businesses and society, the US consistently has the least favorable health statistics among developed countries.  The position of women and reproductive health rights will be examined as a case study in the evolution of public policy.
We will examine the paradigmatic underpinnings and structures that drive system behavior, public policy intervention efforts, and popular civic engagement around health care financing. We will use systems theory and systems thinking tools to understand this complex system and how it intersects with others and to identify leverage points for change.
The third quarter will incorporate in-program internships focused on public policy implementation as well as expert guest speakers and field trips. 
Texts that will be used include Understanding Health Care Policy by Thomas Bodenheimer and Kevin Grumbach; The Social Transformation of American Medicine by Paul Starr; Narrative Matters by Fitzhugh Mullen et al; When Abortion Was a Crime by Leslie J. Reagan; Systems Thinking, a primer by Donella Meadows, Leadership without easy answers by Ron Heifetz

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

Public policy, health policy, health sciences, government, systems theory, management, administration, leadership, community service.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule: First Winter quarter meeting will be Wednesday January 7th, 5:30 PM, Sem 2 C1107; Fall: 9a-5p Sat Oct 4; Sat/Sun Oct 11/12, Oct 25/26, Nov 8/9, Nov 22/23; Sat Dec 6; Winter: 5:30-8:30p Wed Jan 7; 9a-5p Sat/Sun Jan 10/11, Jan 24/25, Feb 7/8, Feb 21/22, March 7/8; Spring: 5:30-8:30p Wed April 1; Sat/Sun April 4/5, April 18/19, May 2/3, May 16/17, May 30/31  


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online:


Date Revision
August 26th, 2014 Course opened to Sophomores
June 19th, 2014 Course name changed from "A Systematic Look at Healthcare in the US: Where we are, how we got here, and where do we go from here?" Course content is the same.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Fall); 8 (Winter); 8 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 10006

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 20006

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Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (8 credits): 30005

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