Course Descriptions

Courses and activities are built upon three strands focused on developing a central “theme”:

  • Defining the basic concepts and building the framework of crisis and modeling applications (applied theory)
  • Identifying and performing practical aspects of crisis management and model building (process)
  • Performing research project and thesis in crisis management (application)

Students are required to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and 4 credit hours of thesis research.

Course Descriptions

GMS BC600 – Physics of Natural and Man-made Hazards

(3 Credits)

This course provides a broad overview of physical, chemical, and biological aspects of man-made and natural hazards.  Hazards range from the everyday – thunderstorms, winter, chemical spills, disease clusters – to the extraordinary – powerful hurricanes, earthquakes, dirty bombs, and pandemic.  This course will teach details essential to every healthcare emergency manager to prepare for known and emerging threats, including threats to the infrastructure essential to healthcare delivery.  Emphasis will be placed on the increasing number of technological hazards, both those that may be intentionally introduced to those created because of the international connectivity provided by airplanes. Discussion will include the short, medium and long term impact to human populations and infrastructures of the various hazards and the impacts on triage and triage decision making processes.

GMS BC610 – Medical Consequences of Natural and Man-made Hazards

(3 Credits)

This course provides a broad overview of medical consequences of man-made and natural hazards.  Hazards can directly impact people’s lives, as well as indirectly by damaging an area’s health infrastructure.  This course will teach details essential to every healthcare emergency manager to prepare for known and emerging threats, including discussing external and internal hazards to healthcare emergency management.  Emphasis will be placed on human population effects, and the wide range of multiple interdependent aspects of social, cultural and physical infrastructures. Discussion will include the short, medium and long term impact on healthcare delivery, including the importance of psychological concerns such as morale and post-event counseling.

GMS BC620 – Psychology and Sociology of Disasters and Methods of Risk Communication

(3 Credits)

This course surveys psychological and social factors affecting community and individual responses to disasters. Emphasis is placed on groups who may experience greater impact as a result of disability, social, economic, or racial disparities. This course explores the methods of risk communications to diverse audiences including considerations of subjectivity of risk, translating complex concepts into clear concise informative messages, and recognizing time sensitivity of information.

GMS BC630 – Ethical & Policy Issues in Health and Medical Services Emergency Management

(3 Credits)

This course explores the complex issues surrounding ethical, legal, and policy issues concerning health and health care delivery under crisis conditions. Issues evaluated include end-of-life decision making, implications of triage, medical malpractice, insurance company regulation and liability. Additionally, the interrelationships of the various levels, and often competing branches, of government will be evaluated.

GMS BC640 – Experimental Design and Statistics

(2 Credits)

This course will explore various methods of experimental design and systems thinking applications for students to use in management and resource allocation modeling activities. We will review various methods of data collection and use, standard mathematical and statistical methods for assigning estimators, and the resulting application of these elements in systems modeling activities. The purpose of this course is to make students aware of methods and practices for analyzing complex systems. The outcome of these types of analysis aid in planning and management of ongoing crisis or disaster contingency and operations.

GMS BC650 – Community Health and Emergency Management

(3 Credits)

Public Health is a multidisciplinary field that aims to prevent disease and death and to promote a healthy quality of life.  Public Health surveillance, intervention, and evaluation intervene at the population and societal level, taking on the effort to advance the health and safety of the greatest amount of people.  This course will explore the multiple concentrations of public health, focusing on epidemiology and environmental health.  In order to understand what public health is and how it should be applied during an emergency, this course will discuss specific epidemiological disasters in history, the scientific and statistical perspective associated with collecting, analyzing, interpreting and utilizing data, and the interconnectedness that is required to rapidly evaluate and manage disasters.

GMS BC700 – The Disaster Life Cycle

(3 Credits)

This course focuses on examining health needs and health care delivery methods to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate impacts of crises. Preparedness consists of being ready for any kind of emergency no matter what the source of the disaster. Practically this means looking at preparedness from an all-hazards perspective and developing the complicated array of policies, methods and programs. Disaster response is a complicated multi-institutional operation requiring sophisticated planning, logistics and communications. Response planning emphasizes the interface and coordination requirements of the National Response Framework. Recovery involves all the necessary actions to reinstate normal operations including reconstitution of necessary data, hardware, software, personnel, supplies, and facilities. Recovery actions are focused on issues and decisions that occur after immediate response needs are addressed.Current and proposed Federal, state, local and private nonprofit disaster recovery methods and policies are discussed. This course addresses these issues through discussion of the cycle of planning, training, equipping, exercising, and mission continuity processes and reviewing case studies of current and past governmental and private methods.

GMS BC710 – Methods and Practices of Incident Command

(3 Credits)

This course examines command and control processes, including Incident and Unified Command Structures, under crisis and disaster management situations for health and medical services. Use of simulation tools will be accomplished (such as Incident Commander: A Crisis Training Simulation) to provide training of community management level incident command actions, based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mandated command structures articulated in the National Incident Management System. Additionally, decision making under uncertainty and emerging social and operational network theory will be evaluated and discussed.

GMS BC730 – Principles, Methods, and Practices of Modeling and Simulation

(3 Credits)

This course involves instructing students in various methods and practices of modeling and simulation with specific focus on applicability to biomedical health and medical services crisis management. Using estimates and probability of events students will design dynamic simulation modeling support tools for aiding in measures to be taken to prevent, mitigate, and recover from a disaster. Specific modeling applications to be performed will be through a unique hands-on experience in the development and use of computer-based models to study policy- and decision-making. The STELLA™ software system will be used in the course.

GMS BC971 – Research Practicum and Thesis I – Designing Crisis Management Research

(2 Credits)

This is the first phase of a directed research and development project in biomedical crisis management. During this course students identify an area of the crisis management process on which to perform research and design a modeling and simulation exercise.

GMS BC972 – Research Practicum and Thesis II – Conducting Crisis Management Research

(2 Credits)

This is the capstone course for this program. Utilizing the base of knowledge gained throughout the previous year, and applying learned methods in modeling and simulation, this practicum provides the student an opportunity to perform a guided research activity focused on health care under crisis. The specific objective of this capstone requirement is to prepare the student to be able to directly contribute to the process of crisis management and to equip the student with practical experience in evaluating and planning for future potential crises conditions.