Public Health courses coming to UW

The University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences will offer three online courses in community and public health in the spring 2021 semester.

The courses are open to graduate students, advanced undergraduates, practitioners and community members who are interested in improving community health. The courses, which are each three credit hours, are asynchronous so that participants can fit them into any work or study schedule.

Two of the courses will be offered for the first time: “Increasing Support for Public Health Projects” and “Achieving Rural Community Health.”

Students in “Increasing Support for Public Health Projects” will learn how to effectively build support for improving the health of their communities. Support includes funding, coalition building and partnerships. The course also will cover the importance of communication with stakeholders, including policy and decision makers.

“Achieving Rural Community Health” will require that students apply principles of community and public health in rural and frontier United States settings. The course will outline challenges and assets that a rural or frontier setting brings to improving community health.

Students in “Creating Conditions for Community Health” will analyze and discuss how to change environmental impacts on health, including developing action plans to improve the conditions for health in communities they care about.

“We started developing these courses well before the first case of COVID-19 had been recorded,” Derek Smith, director of the UW Division of Kinesiology and Health said. “We are certainly grateful to have them in place at a time when the University of Wyoming and rural communities, in general, might need them more than ever.”

The division is proposing an online, graduate-level community and public health certificate, which will include these and other courses, to better serve Wyoming and other rural communities, Smith adds.

For more information about the courses, email Lacey Gaechter, Community and Public Health Program development manager, at

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