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  Home > Graduate Programs and Degrees Offered > Veterinary Medicine Graduate Program > Courses > VMED 7992
 

VMED 7992

Animal Health and Food System Policy and US National Government

Instructors: Dr. Gene Hugoson, gehugo@umn.edu, Dr. Will Hueston, huest001@umn.edu, Dr. Bill Sischo, wmsischo@vetmed.wsu.edu

Office: 136G Andrew Boss Laboratories

Credits: 1
Course Dates and Location: March 26-30, 2012 Washington, DC

Prior to the off-campus component of the course, students will participate in webinar based directed discussions and lectures to provide background information and general instruction regarding the relevant policy issue. Each enrolled student will be expected prepare for the course prior to traveling to the off-campus site by becoming familiar with the relevant policy problem which includes reading the background materials provided online for that year’s program as well as familiarizing oneself with the various perspectives on that policy issue. Each student is also expected to participate in directed discussions and debate around a current issue, interact with key officials, perform group task assignments, and develop and deliver a presentation to inform and persuade to relevant stakeholders in the policy problem.

Course Description
This course is based on the concepts of evidence-based policy development and is designed around a relevant global animal health and food system issue. The relative role of scientific evidence in developing and implementing policy associated with the issue will be emphasized. The course will provide students an understanding and experience regarding the policy-making process related as it pertains to trade, animal health and food system at the national levels, as well as an understanding of the role of scientific evidence in this process.

The off-campus component of the course is structured around visits within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and interactions with key leaders from various organizations and agencies. For example; USDA, embassies, professional organizations, NGOs, U.S. State Department, consumer organizations, as well as Congressional members may be visited. Participants will have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge and skills in animal health, public health, communication, and food security with national and international animal health policy. Students will draw on the current issues surrounding the development and funding of a current veterinary public practice issue and explore the development and implementation of national standards and policy. This component of the course will emphasize the impact of these policies on U.S. and global agricultural research, higher education, animal health, trade, and public health.

Course Goals
As a result of this course, participants will be able to:
• Understand the role, or weight, of scientific evidence in policy development
• Explain the legal authorities of the U.S. federal government as it relates to food safety, food security, trade, animal health, and public health
• Distinguish various strategies that groups use to inform and influence policy
• Demonstrate the role of the private sector in enhancing global food safety, animal health and public health systems
• Synthesize a policy perspective utilizing a complex knowledge base that includes scientific findings, beliefs, and politics
• Present a cogent argument that informs policy that would be understood across a diverse audience

Policy and leadership skill building
• Value different perspectives on policy and policy-making in different disciplines, cultures and contexts. (Broaden exposure through experiences.)
• Enhance communication skills for professionals working at the convergence of animal health, public health, and the environment
• Expand personal networks with key national leaders in food security, public health, and agricultural health

Prerequisites
Students should have DVM, MPH or other graduate degree, pursuing the DVM, MPH or other graduate degree or instructor’s approval.

Learning objectives
• Recognize the need for locally contextualized decision support for policymakers and other stakeholders.
• Recognize that research evidence is only one input into the decision-making processes of policy makers and other stakeholders
• Recognize that many stakeholders can add significant value to these policy making decisions.
• Recognize that many stakeholders can take action to address high-priority issues, and not just policy makers
• Be able to describe the policy-making process (steps and authorities) related to food safety, food security, trade, animal health and public health (For example, what are the legal authorities of the various agencies within the national government?)
• Understand the influence and authority that intergovernmental agencies, governmental agencies (national, state, and local) non-governmental agencies, professional and trade organizations have on national policy development. Describe how veterinarians can participate in, and potentially influence those policy decisions.
• Compare and contrast policy formulation and priority setting processes for different organizations/agencies (and issues)
• Recognize the relationships between the public and private sectors that enhance the global food safety, animal health and public health systems
• Be able to discuss various policy strategies: international standards, treaties and international trade agreements, national laws and regulations, presidential directives, political priorities, strategic planning and operational goal-setting, budget allocation, and dispute resolution. Understand the difference between legislation and regulatory directives or guidance.
• Differentiate among scientific findings, personal and organizational beliefs, and political agendas


Expectations
Students in this course will have studied the process for legislative and regulatory policy development that will influence their practice of public veterinary medicine. They will learn how to be active citizens in this process. Additionally, they will have practiced skills to identify data needed to make informed decisions, locate sources of information and application of that knowledge to addressing the topic.

Coursework
Each student is expected to participate in directed discussions and debate around a current issue, interact with key officials, perform group task assignments, and develop and deliver a presentation to inform and persuade to relevant stakeholders in the policy problem

Student Evaluation Criteria
The student will create a response to the proposed action plan from the viewpoint of a particular state level advocacy group assigned on the first day of the class (20%). Students will work in small groups to develop a position, present the position (30%) on the last day of class to a panel of experts and articulate the position in writing to send to an assigned government agency as a one page letter of comment (50%).

Grading Policy
A = 90% and above
B = 80%-89%
C= 70%-79%
D = 60%-69%
F = 59% or below


Additional Information

Material will be made available on website prior to start of the class

Attendance requirements: Attendance at all sessions during the off campus portion of the course is mandatory.

Assignments
Create a response to the proposed action plan from the viewpoint of a particular national level advocacy group assigned to you (20%). You will work in small groups to develop the position, present the position (30%) on the last day of class to a panel of experts and articulate the position in writing to send to an assigned government agency as a one page letter of comment (50%).

Examinations: None


The following policies apply to all courses at the University of Minnesota:
Grading and Transcripts: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester.
Teaching and Learning: Instructor and Unit Responsibilities: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester).
Teaching and Learning: Student Responsibilities (Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester)
Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester
Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester
Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester
Student Conduct Code
Sexual Harassment
Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action
Availability of Mental Health Services

 


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