Social Work 151 Health Services + Systems Division of Social Work

Helen Byrd, JD, LCSW Spring 2011 – Social Work 151-01

Office: Mariposa 5012 Office Hours: By Appointment


Tel: (916) 255-2647 (Office) 1st

(916)-606-4410 (Cell) 2nd

Course Description

This course examines the delivery of health and mental health services in the United States, with focus on the populations that have limited or no access to care: the poor and near poor, ethnic minorities and households headed by women. The development of public policy at the national, state and local levels and the implications of policy decisions on the provision of health and mental health services will be examined.

Course Objectives

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

1. Define, describe and discuss health and mental health, as well as physical, environmental and social determinants of health and mental health as demonstrated by exam, class discussion and assignments.

2. Describe how health and mental health services in the United States are organized and delivered, including how these systems have developed over time as demonstrated by exam and term paper.

3. Develop an understanding of the methods of health care policy setting, including systems that translate policies into service delivery at the local level as demonstrated by exam, classroom discussion and assignments.

4. Describe access to care issues as they exist or have been remedied for the poor, near poor, ethnic minorities and households headed by women as demonstrated by exam and classroom discussion.

5.  Develop familiarity with the major public programs, for example Medicare,

Medi-Cal (Medicaid), community mental health systems and learn to apply a framework for analysis of health and mental health policies as demonstrated by exam and classroom discussion.

Category D2 (Major Social Issues of the Contemporary Era) for General Education

This course:

1.  Examines the domestic issues impacting the delivery of health and mental health services in the United States today.

2.  Identifies specific issues impacting health and mental health care delivery.

3.  Focuses on social issues impacting health.

4.  Examines various sides of each issue, critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and presents scholarly analysis of possible alternative solutions

5.  Provides framework for evaluating the effectiveness of health and mental health social services agencies.

Category D2 Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an understanding of the issues and arguments surrounding physical, environmental and social determinants of the status of health and mental health in the United States.

2.  Demonstrate an understanding of the issues and arguments surrounding the delivery of health and mental health care services in the United States.

3.  Demonstrate an understanding of the issues and arguments surrounding the history and development of health care policy in the United States.

All assignments are designed to demonstrate mastery of course objectives.

Textbooks (required)

Shi. L. & Singh, D.A. (2008). Delivering health care in America: A systems approach. (6th ed.) Boston: Jones and Bartlett.


Reading / Discussion Groups:

At the first class session, each student will join a reading/discussion group (this will be the same as your presentation group). Each group will develop a system to interact with each other over the course of each week to discuss reading assignments.

Prior to class sessions, each group will prepare a brief summary of a selected reading along with a personal reflection. Each group will be required to present their summary and reflection to the class. No written work is required to be handed in.

If any groups select the same readings, we will group those for discussion.

This is how we will start each class and this activity will contribute to your participation points.

Questions to guide all readings:

§  What are the main concepts and/or themes emerging throughout specific readings?

§  How do I relate to the content and/or themes?

§  If appropriate, do I agree or disagree with the content?

§  Does the content challenge or support my values and belief system?

§  Is the content practical?

§  Does the content provide concrete strategies for social work practice or for my particular discipline?

Course Outline / Schedule of Readings / Assignments

Week 1 / Introductions and
1/25/2011 / Overview of Coursework and Assignments
Formation of Presentation/ Reading Groups
Week 2 / A Distinctive System of Health Care Delivery
2/01/2011 / Beliefs, Values, and Health
Chapter 1 and Chapter 2
Week 3 / The Evolution of Health Services in America
2/08/2011 / Health Services Professionals
Chapter 3 and Chapter 4
Week 4 / Medical Technology and Health Services Finances
2/15/2011 / Chapter 5 and Chapter 6
Group Preparation Sessions: (Mandatory)
Week 5 / Outpatient and Primary Care Services
3/1/2011 / Chapter 7
Week 6 / Inpatient Facilities and Services
3/08/2011 / Chapter 8
Week 7 / Long Term Care
3/15/2011 / Chapter 10
Midterm Writing Assignment Due in Class
3/22/2011 / No Class
Week 9 / Managed Care and Integrated Organizations
3/29/2011 / Chapter 9
Movie: “John Q”
Week 10 / Health Services and Special Populations and Health Policy
4/5/2011 / Chapter 11 and Chapter 13
Movie: “Sicko”
Week 11 / Presentation #1
4/12/2011 / Presentation #2
Course Outline / Schedule of Readings / Assignments (cont.)
Week 12 / Presentation #3
4/19/2011 / Presentation # 4
Week 13 / Presentation #5
4/26/2011 / Presentation #6
Week 14 / Student Evaluation of Instructor
5/3/2011 / Exam (no make-up exams unless approved prior to exam day)
[Exams in the Testing Center should be arranged before this date]
Week 15 / Presentation # 7
5/10/2011 / Presentation # 8
Final Paper Due in Class
Week 16 / FINALS’ WEEK
5/17/2011 / NO FINAL – NO CLASS


Learning activities will include readings, writing, discussion, interactive lectures, speakers, audiovisual resources, and experiential exercises. The class will be organized as a learning laboratory, utilizing the small group context for developmental application of skills in the area of human behavior and the social environment.

Cooperative and collaborative learning are dependent upon student preparation and participation. Students are expected to have read all assigned readings prior to class sessions. Students are expected to participate in cooperative and collaborative learning exercises in class.


Ø  Students should turn cell phones off or set to silent mode during class.

Ø  Lap top use in the class is limited to note taking only.

Ø  Written work must conform to APA format. Serious deficiencies in areas such as spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and coherent organization will result in lower grades. Students are encouraged to use the writing lab—or other available writing programs-- if writing problems emerge.

Ø  Plagiarism (claiming the work of someone else as your own) will result in a grade of FAIL for the course.

Ø  Where appropriate, the following criteria are used to evaluate assignments:

Effective use of knowledge: the integration of concepts, theories, models, and information from readings, lectures, and class discussions is used in a way that demonstrates integration and understanding.

The inclusion of personal points of view in the assignment is present along with rationale, logic, and examples. Generalization of ideas, observations, concepts, and experiences are carefully supported with empirical data, conceptual work generated by authors, practitioners, or researchers.

Organization: thesis in introduction, smooth relationship between ideas and between paragraphs, and overall structure, integrative concluding section. Careful planning is evident in the organization.

Clarity: understandability, good style and form. Central ideas are concrete and clear.

Correct syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Sentences and paragraphs are clear, unified, and coherent.

Ø  Students are reminded to retain a duplicate copy of all their written assignments prior to submitting them for grading in the event of accidental loss or destruction.

Ø  Students’ interest, time, commitment to the course, as well as personal/professional development is highly valued. There is no substitute or make-up for attendance and participation. Missing more than four (4) scheduled class sessions will result in failing the course.

Ø  Students are expected to have completed assignments for the course by the scheduled due date. If special circumstances arise, the instructor may grant an extension on the due date. This must be arranged prior to the date the assignment is due and approved by the instructor. If students need help or have questions, they are encouraged to contact the instructor during office hours or by email.

It is expected that developing social workers become familiar with and adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics. This code should guide you both in field and in the classroom.


A. Attendance and Participation

1.  You are expected to be in class on time and to remain for the entire class session.

2.  Attendance sign-in sheets will be circulated during each class session. It is your responsibility to sign-in.

3.  Active and prepared class discussion is expected and required.

Class participation is assessed by the observation and experience by the instructor of the following factors:

1. Content Mastery: The student understands facts, concepts, and theories in the assigned readings.

2. Communication Skills: The student’s ability to inform others in an intelligent manner, communicating ideas clearly and persuasively. Ability to listen to others well enough to communicate an understanding of what was said in the discussion.

3. Synthesis and Integration: The student’s ability to articulate connections between various readings and ideas.

4. Value: The student’s ability of identify value content in class readings and discussions, and to articulate their own position in relationship to their own value base and explain that position on some hierarchy of value.

5. Relevance: When participating in class, students should ask themselves: Is my question and or comment enhancing my or someone else’s learning? Does my question or comment further the discussion and or illustrate a critical point?

B. Grading

1. / Cumulative Exam / 100 points
2. / Mid-term Assignment / 100 points
3. / Group Classroom Presentation / 150 points
4. / Final Paper / 150 points
5. / Attendance / 150 points (10 pts. x 15 weeks)
6. / Participation / 150 points (10 pts. x 15 weeks)
Total possible points / 800 points

Grading Scale

A / = / 800 points / - / 760 points / 95%
A- / = / 759 points / - / 736 points / 92%
B+ / = / 735 points / - / 696 points / 87%
B / = / 695 points / - / 672 points / 84%
B- / = / 671 points / - / 640 points / 80%
C+ / = / 639 points / - / 616 points / 77%
C / = / 615 points / - / 560 points / 70%
D / = / 559 points / - / 528 points / 66%
F / = / 527 points / - / - / -

Late papers will lose 10 points for each day after due date. If papers are left in my box, they must be dated and initialed by the staff in the social work office. No late final papers will be accepted.

On days of student presentations, you will have an additional 20 points deducted if you are absent.

An “I” (incomplete) will be given only when the student attends all classes and requests an “I” grade due to a legitimate reason for a delay in completing assignments. All appropriate paperwork must be completed to authorize the incomplete grade.

The instructor reserves the right to change the syllabus, reading assignments and requirements during the semester, if needed. Ample notice of requirements will be given.

Students with special learning needs should discuss their needs with the instructor as soon as possible. Students with documented special learning needs can obtain special accommodations for course materials, testing facilities, and equipment by contacting the Office of Disability Services (916) 278-6955. The instructor should be advised of these accommodations and provided documentation as soon as possible.


1. Cumulative Exam – Week 14

Multiple choice questions

Study guide located on S.W. web site

2. Mid-term Writing Assignment – due week 7 (in class)

3. Final Paper – due week 15 (in class)

4. Group Class Presentation – dates to be determined

S.W. 151 Group Class Presentation

At the first session, the class will be divided into eight (8) presentation groups.

Each group will select an agency or organization for this project. This will need to be an agency of organization whose primary function is health care services or mental health services. The purpose of this assignment is to give students firsthand experience in evaluating agencies.

The presentation will answer each of the following questions (1 thru 13):

1 / What specific needs does the agency attempt to meet? How did the agency identify these needs (client surveys, existing research, etc.)?
2 / What are the stated goals and objectives of the agency? Are the goals and objectives clearly defined? Are they reasonable? When members of the staff were interviewed, were they able to articulate the agency goals and objectives? How does the agency measure the effectiveness of its program(s)?
3 / What services are provided by the agency? What geographic area(s) is served? Roughly how many people does the organization serve (tens, hundreds, thousands)? What are the demographics (age, sex, social economic status, and ethnicity) of the population(s) served? Are the demographics of the agency’s workforce representative of the clients it serves? What languages are spoken by the agency staff?
4 / How do clients initially learn the agency has services to help them meet their needs (i.e., referrals, commercials, word of mouth)? Are the clients voluntary or involuntary (court-ordered)?
5 / What is the agency’s written policy for handling its clients’ confidential information (be specific)? Under what circumstances can confidentiality be breached? During the interview, was the agency staff able to articulate the agency’s policy?
6 / Does the agency provide outreach services? If so, how are outreach services conducted?
7 / How close are the bus stop and/or light-rail to the agency? Is the agency wheelchair accessible?
8 / What are the eligibility criteria? Do the agency clients have to pay any fees?
9 / What types of human services workers are employed at the agency? What are the requirements (education, degree, certificates, licenses, experience, etc.) for each human service worker position?
10 / Does the agency have a cultural diversity training program for its workers? Please describe the content of the cultural diversity training program. Is this diversity training adequate? If not, why?
11 / What is the agency’s funding source(s)? List funding sources in order of the size of each source’s contributions? What requirements does the funding source place on the agency?
12 / What laws, requirements, restrictions, or guidelines are placed on the agency’s by Federal, State or local governments in its day to day delivery of services?
13 / Give suggestions that would help the agency improve its effectiveness in serving its clients.

Presentation Format