Students will write a brief report describing a recent health crisis or issue; how it impacts
population health; and the role of epidemiology and surveillance in understanding the issue. They
will outline, in detail, key public health strategies related to health promotion and/or disease
prevention used to address it and will critically assess the success of these interventions.
The learning objectives for assignments in this course are based on the Public Health Agency of
Canada’s core competencies for public health professionals.1 By completing this assignment,
students should be able to identify relevant sources of information about health concerns (Core
Competency 2.2); analyze information to determine gaps and limitations (Core Competency 2.4);
and describe options to address specific public health issues (Core Competency 3.1).
Public health crisis or issue options
Your assignment must be on one of the following current/recent public health crises or issues:
1. Opioid overdoses in Canada
2. Gun-related violence in the United States
3. Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo
No other assignment topics will be accepted.
Key components in the report
As discussed in the Week 1 tutorial, your report should include an Introduction and a Conclusion.
In addition to these sections, please ensure that your report covers the following key components:
1. Identify your chosen health issue and briefly describe it: When did it become a problem? What
are the characteristics of the health issue? Why is it thought to be a significant problem?
2. Describe the role of epidemiology and surveillance in understanding the issue: What kinds of
data have been collected to understand the issue? What do they tell us about trends in the
occurrence of the issue across time and/or geography? Are there any data missing that are
needed to understand the issue?
3. Outline key public health strategies related to health promotion and/or disease prevention
surrounding the issue: How is health behaviour related to the issue? What interventions have
been used to address health behaviours to promote health or prevent disease in this context?
4. Think critically about these public health strategies: Have they been successful? Why or why
not? What has been the most effective of these strategies? What characteristics have made this
strategy successful? What would you recommend to improve these strategies?
1 Public Health Agency of Canada. Core competencies for public health in Canada, release 1.0. Ottawa, ON: Public
Health Agency of Canada; 2008. Retrieved 07 December 2016 from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/php-psp/ccphcesp/pdfs/cc-manual-eng090407.pdf
Please document your reading and learning on all sections of the assignment by citing selected
scholarly articles, professional publications, and popular publications. Guidelines on the number
of references you are expected to draw on are included in the marking rubric.
Assignments should be 5 pages (not including the cover page or references). Assignment files
should be labeled using the following convention: Last name First name_Assignment
number_Tutorial section (e.g., SmithJohn_Assign2_Tut4). All assignments should include a cover
page that contains: an informative assignment title, course title and code, instructor of the course,
tutorial section, date, student name, and student number. The body of the assignment should be
double-spaced, using Times New Roman size 12 font and 1-inch margins.
To do well on this assignment, all of the required space must be used; assignments with excessive
“blank space” within the five-page limit will not receive full marks.
Be sure to use references where appropriate; references should follow the National Library of
Medicine’s Uniform Requirements referencing system, used commonly in public health:
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html. For in-text citations, please use the
“citation-sequence style”. Superscript numbers are used to refer to the references, and references
are then numbered in the reference list in the order they first appear in the text.
Please submit the assignment to the Turnitin Module on Blackboard by 11:59pm on Wednesday,
November 13. The penalty for late submission of assignments is 5% per day, including weekends.
Without exception, assignments that are submitted more than seven days late, without prior
permission from Dr. Brown, will receive a grade of zero.
Further details on submission of assignments through Turnitin can be found here:
The Canadian Public Health Association, the World Health Organization, and the United
Nations may have useful information related to the characteristics of the health issue or crisis
and the local public health strategies used to address it.
See the Resources module on Quercus, “Locating Scholarly Articles”, for information on
definitions of scholarly articles and other resources and where to find them.
Academic integrity is taken very seriously for assignments, as with all aspects of the course.
Remember to always use your own words and to provide a reference for ideas that are not your
own. Use quotations (with references and page numbers) sparingly and only to illustrate important
points. If in doubt, talk to Dr. Brown during office hours or make an appointment with the Writing
Centre (http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/) and draw on one of their many useful resources