Research Based Health Activism Course 2008


Research-based health activism describes a growing sector of the medical and public health worlds where the classic skills of clinical research and epidemiology are combined with grass-roots advocacy to influence federal and state health policy, stemming the influence of private industry and market forces on public and community health. The Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine has a rich tradition of innovations in community oriented primary care and a history of progressive research and practice. Our faculty, together with experts from throughout the New York Metropolitan area, will provide training in this growing field of research-based health activism.

We have developed a unique course, which combines both didactic and project based approaches, to the teaching of research-based health activism. Didactic lectures will introduce three major topic areas: research methods, health policy, and advocacy skills. Individual and small group mentorship will be provided to help students utilize these skills by developing their own independent research proposal. Other sessions will include physician-activist guest lecturers and visits to state or private health organizations that both create and influence health policy. Finally, students will work in groups to develop a research proposal for a project which reflects their interests that can be used when completed to influence health policy. This proposal will be presented on the final day of the course at a luncheon including all students, the course directors, returning session leaders, and Peter Lurie, MD, MPH, from the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

FACULTY AND RESIDENTS: Galit Sacajiu, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Course Director, Research-Based Health Activism Course * Carolyn Chu, MD, HIV Research Fellow, Department of Family and Social Medicine * Aaron Fox, MD, Chief Resident, Primary Care and Social Medicine Residency Programs

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please visit our website on Public Citizen at: or contact Galit Sacajiu, MD, MPH at this link: Galit Sacajiu

Programming Tracks:

Health Policy and Activism—The history and the present: Bertrand Bell, MD: Making Real World Change As A Physician—Jo Ivey Boufford, MD: Public Policy—Joseph Ross, MD: Health Care Organization—Ernest Drucker, PhD: A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration—Oliver Fein, MD: National Health Insurance for the US: Has Its Time Come?—Paul Lipson, Chief of Staff and Siddharta Sanchez, Community Liaison for Immigration & Environmental Affairs for Bronx Congressman José Serrano: Health Topics as they relate to the policies in the Bronx, NY—Ruth Macklin, PhD: Research Ethics: Protecting Human Subjects of International Research—Eva Metalios, MD: Human Rights Clinic—Barbara Seaman: Women’s Health Activism—Peter Selwyn, MD, MPH: Research and Advocacy at the Dawn of AIDS—Peter Sherman, MD: The Affects of Domestic Violence on Children—Victor Sidel, MD: Social Injustice and Public Health, and War, Terrorism, and Public Health—Hal Strelnick, MD: Health Policy at Local, State, and National Levels—Bruce Vladeck, PhD: Medicare and the Role of Physicians in the Future—Sidney Wolfe, MD: Research Topics/Questions

Research Methods—how to produce activist research:

Matthew Anderson, MD, MSc: Planning the write-up process of your project—Chinazo Cunningham, MD: Grant Writing—Robin Flam, MD, DrPH: Uses of Epidemiology—Aaron Fox, MD: Social Epidemiology—Nerina Garcia, PhD and Lucia Ferra: Qualitative data use and analysis—Alison Karasz, PhD and Galit Sacajiu, MD, MPH: The Underline Construct—Paul Meissner, MSPH: Using Secondary Demographic and Clinical Databases—Robert Roose, MD: Quantitative data use and analysis—Galit Sacajiu, MD, MPH: Research Questions—Nancy Sohler, PhD, MPH and Galit Sacajiu, MD, MPH: Study Designs

Advocacy—how to create change:

David Appel, MD: Lobbying—Ramin Asgary, MD, MPH, MSc:Humanitarian Assistance: The Principles—Oni Blackstock, MD: HIV/AIDS in Ghana: Adherence and Stigma—Bob Goodman, MD—Pharmaceutical Industry and Physicians—Kirsten Goodwin of GMHC: Coalition Building—Hillary Kunins, MD, MPH, MS and Mindy Sobota, MD: Case Workshop: Advocating for Choice—Janice Lieberman, NBC Studio: Media Relations in Health Research and Advocacy—David Matthews: Harm Reduction and HIV: a grass root organization—Steve Max of Midwest Academy: Intro to Organizing and Strategy Building—Mini Murthy, MD, MPH, MS: Women’s Health and Human Rights—Zena Nelson: The South Bronx Food Cooperative—Adam Richards, MD, MPH: Public Health and Human Rights Praxis in Burma—Minesh Shah, MD: Public Speaking—Lanny Smith, MD, MPH, DTM&H: Liberation Medicine, Health and Human Rights—Leonora Tiefer, PhD: FSD-A Case of Disease Mongering and Activist Resistance

Click on the links below for:

The Program Brochure
An application for the 2008 course
Articles about the course from the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Academic Physician and Scientist
and the New York Times

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3 Responses to “Research Based Health Activism Course 2008”

  1. 1bronxdoc


    Information about the 2009 course can be found at this link:

    To find out how to enroll, contact Dr. Aaron Fox at:

    Best, Matt Anderson

  2. 2Marc Campbell PhD MS IV

    Me too. Want to apply as an elective clerkship. I’m a central Iowa student PSR and PNHP rep.

  3. 3Tatiana

    Very useful post. where can i find more info on health activism course?

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