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PUBH/GEND 310 - Gender and Public Health

Course description
This course will address public health issues from a gender perspective. In this course we will examine the Italian healthcare system and access with a temporal lens looking back to the last century, and how services have developed and changed over time to the present day. National healthcare should guarantee free and equal access to care for all people according to a welfare model defined as leaving no one behind, but is this the case? The way that health services are organized and provided can either limit or enable a person’s access to public health. The course will delve into these issues by analyzing the Italian National Healthcare System (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale—SSN). We will start from a macro view, focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and social determinants of health, to a micro perspective targeting the Umbria regional health service focusing on transcultural health. We will look at the cornerstones of the health system, how gaps within the same system have created inequalities in service delivery and how these interfere with and have a negative impact on the quality of life of women, girls, trans and gender diverse people.

The program will be developed through various analytical tools, including an intersectional and multidisciplinary approach to ensure a global vision and support the construction of critical thinking concerning the complexity of the subject under study. In this regard, the course will have a strong empirical character providing a dynamic and immersive experience, it will include field visits, guest lectures, and the development of a short project applying the innovative methodology of Service Design, learned during the course. This course is designed for students who want to broaden their outlook and learn how a national healthcare system works, and what its strengths and weaknesses are from a gender perspective.


Learning Outcomes and Assessment Measures
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

● Identify the gendered challenges to (and successes of) public health access in Italy for women, young girls, trans and gender diverse individuals, especially those who are legal and illegal immigrants;
● Develop and design a qualitative research project on the public health service for migrants using the Service Design methodology.
● Apply Service Design skills to contexts in which social, cultural, political, and economic aspects can be developed and increased for the benefit of communities and societies.
● Summarize the elements of, as well as the similarities and differences between, the public health systems in Italy and the US with special attention to the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals.