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Global Obesity Prevention Center

The Summer Institute of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Course Title:
Introduction to Health Systems Modeling

Course Number: 221.659.11

Dates: June 21 - 24, 2016 from 1:30 PM EDT - 5:20 PM EDT

Credits: 2

Location: East Baltimore Campus

Instructors: Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA

Please visit the CoursePlus site for this course.

Course Description:

Mathematical and computational modeling and simulation methods have helped transform many industries and fields such as manufacturing, transportation, communications, and finance and are increasingly being used for health systems. As the use of such methods continues to grow, regardless of one’s eventual role in health systems, familiarity with such approaches and methods will likely become more and more important in the future.

This course will introduce students to mathematical and computational modeling and simulation methods to better understand, evaluate, and improve health systems. Students will address the basic concepts of mathematical and computational modeling and simulation and how they may apply to health systems. The course will cover the basics of economic and operational modeling and simulation, and introduces advanced Microsoft Excel features and the VenSim software.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Evaluate and critique a health system model
  2. Develop a basic mathematical/computational model of a health system
  3. Utilize a model to address a health system decision


Requires knowledge in basic statistics and Microsoft Excel. Students must have a bachelor's degree and interested in learning about systems methods.

Course Restrictions:

Maximum enrollment is 40 students.

Methods of Assessment:

Participation: 20%
Interim Project Presentation: 30%
Final Project Report: 50%

Special Comments:

Students are required to complete readings and a write-up/outline of their final project report prior to class. A final project report will be due on 6/24.

For details on this and other Summer Institute courses, please contact the academic coordinator, Ayesha Kahn or see here