Fall quarter:

SPH 202, Public Health Issues in California’s Central Valley. (3 units, Th).  Students are introduced to topics on specific Valley health issues, including: economic, social and land use historical factors that contribute to present day health concerns, drinking water access, heat, occupy, occupational health, air quality, chronic disease and poverty,  environmental contamination,  incarceration industry, racism and immigration policy, and healthcare policy. Students also have the opportunity to meet  UCD researchers from multiple disciplines who are studying public health issues in California’s Central Valley.  The course also introduces students to conducting  literature searches and reviews of the literature. Required for PhD in Public Health. *Enrollment is primarily limited to PhD students in Public Health, but exceptions are possible for doctoral students in other programs at Dr. Ko’s discretion.

Winter 2023:

SPH 298, Seminar: Approaches in Data and Methods in Quantitative Health Equity Research. (1 unit). Foundational considerations in preparing to conduct health equity research, using quantitative methods including ownership and agency, positionality, interrogation of data sources, critical evaluation of measurement, and application of mixed qualitative and quantitative methods.

Spring 2023:

SPH 276, Critical Assessment of Public Health Policy and Economic Evaluation (2 units). Overview of traditional policy analysis approaches, including economic evaluation, and alternatives, including health equity assessment, justice, communication, and political impacts. We will discuss how policy analysis is used, why, and by whom. Required for PhD in Public Health. *Enrollment is primarily limited to PhD and MPH students in Public Health Sciences, but exceptions are possible for doctoral and advanced master’s students in other programs at Dr. Ko’s discretion. Pre-requisite: Prior coursework or work experience that includes basics of U.S. health policy and administration.


UC Davis School of Medicine: Community Health Scholars: guest lectures on social determinants of health, health policy, using public health data.

Past classes for REACH-PRIME: Introduction to Health in the Central Valley; San Joaquin Valley Water and Agriculture: A Case Study of Social Determinants of Health; Current Developments in Healthcare Policy  and Relevance to Underserved Populations; Practice of Medicine in Underserved Areas


Past courses:

2017-2021 (IOR)

SPH 222, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health.  (3 unitl).  In this class, we cover introductory concepts on social structural determinants of health.  We discuss canonical frameworks including understanding pathways of structural and institutional racism impact public health, the socioecological model,  Krieger’s model of discrimination and health, the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and Link and Phelan’s Fundamental Causes Theory. We review theoretical mechanisms, history and evidence base for relationships between individual, community and state  and policy factors and health.  Topics include: multiple conceptualizations of racism and colorism, sexism, heterosexism, gender binarism, intersectionality, immigration and migration, housing and built environment, education, wealth and income, labor,  law enforcement, incarceration, and violence. *This is a core MPH course: due to space constraints, the MPH program is currently unable to accept non-MPH students into this course.

Guest lectures

MDS 415. Critical Evaluation of the Medical Literature. Faculty small group leader for Doctoring 1 and 2. Sessions: Medicaid Expansion.

PHS 190. Topics in Public Health. What Now? Update on the Healthcare Reform

SPH 273. Health Administration. (1) The Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform. (2) Medicaid and the Safety Net.

SPH 214. Scientific Proposal Writing. Developing theoretical and conceptual frameworks for research

HDE 135. Health behavior. Structural racism and health

UC Davis Medical School Preparatory Education Program (MSPEP). Racism and health policy

UC Davis Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement-Undergraduate Summer Program (RISE-UP). Immigration and health policy.

Guest panelist

UC Davis Summer Poverty Research Engagement Experience (SPREE), for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Graduate school and non-academic careers.

UC Davis Avenue B Industry Day. UC Davis incoming community college transfer students.  Careers in the health and biological sciences.