Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases and health-related states in human populations. The Principles of Epidemiology and Public Health Practice is a free, downloadable PDF-course developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This course covers basic epidemiology principles, concepts, and procedures useful in the surveillance and investigation of health-related states or events. It is designed for federal, state, and local government health professionals and private sector health professionals who are responsible for disease surveillance or investigation.
National, state, and county-level data can be found on the Data and Statistics page on this website.
Health professionals need to be aware of different cultural and ethnic healing traditions. These systems are often familiar and comforting to the patient, and it is important for the healthcare practitioner to respect these cultural beliefs. These systems derive not only from social, but from religious constructs as well. A culturally competent healthcare provider will not only respect these healing systems, but will be able to integrate them with treatment. The Vaden Health Center of Stanford University is a site devoted to traditional healing. The site provides a number of resources including African, Native American, South American, Asian, and Indian healing systems. They have a number of links to sites that deal with Christian, Jewish, and Voodoo healing traditions.
Eliciting medical, social, cultural, and linguisitc histories from patients varies from group to group. The Health Research and Educational Trust Disparities Toolkit team has released a new, updated toolkit that provides hospitals, health systems, clinics, and health plans with information and resources for collecting this information efficiently, effectively, and respectfully. This free easy-to-use resource describes how to educate and inform hospital staff about the importance of data collection; how to implement a framework to collect race, ethnicity, and primary language data; and how to use these data to improve quality of care for all populations. Access the Toolkit a here.