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Making Data, Policy and Politics Work for Public Health MDPPS0508

Credit Completion certificate
Instructors Colleen M. Bridger, MPH 
Cost No Charge
Availability Notify Me When Available

This self-paced online course focuses on the important role of health-related data in formulating effective public health policy in the context of a political society. In a hands-on format, this course helps public health decision makers examine how public health stakeholders and policymakers can select appropriate data sources, use data responsibly, and represent important public health issues in a data-driven way. At the same time, the interplay of politics, public health, and health research is highlighted.Powerful data sources are identified and you will practice using them to create policy-relevant communications.

Real-life examples are used throughout to highlight key ideas. You will see the instructor explaining key ideas and leading you through activities in the course. This course is designed to take no more than 2.5 hours to complete and can be done individually or with a group.


  1. The Political Process and How It Intersects with Public Health And Policy
  2. Sources Of Data for Health-Related Decisions
  3. Interpreting Sources of Health Data
  4. Basic Statistics and What They Really Mean
  5. Role Play Exercise: Who Do You Believe?
  6. Presenting Health-Related Information to the Public

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of providing a scientific and data-driven foundation in policy making and goal-setting
  • Locate appropriate and reliable sources of public health scientific and data information
  • Interpret health-related data in a policy or political context
  • Communicate research data findings to public health stakeholders
  • Explain how to translate data into usable information
  • Identify gaps in health research information

Intended Audience
This course is applicable to all public health professionals and decision makers interested in effectively translating health-related data for public and policy needs.

Colleen M. Bridger, MPH, Gaston County (North Carolina) Health Director.

Award of Excellence
This e-learning course received an Award of Excellence at the International Online Communications Competition, which was held at the Society for Technical Communications Summit in May, 2009. International judges gave the course high marks for its ease of use, "elegant simplicity" and clear writing. The course previously had won a Touchstone Award of Distinction from the Berkeley, California Society for Technical Communications in 2008, which enabled it to compete at the international level.

This course is presented by the Michigan Center for Public Health Preparedness and is supported by a Cooperative Agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, number U90TP524243-04.

Updated 5/18/2009; 8/11/2008