Richard Alderslade
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public and Health Administration

Richard Alderslade has worked for twenty-five years in public health, national and local health administration, research and higher education in the United Kingdom, and for ten years in humanitarian and development international health. He holds the degrees of MA. BM. BCh. (Oxon) and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London (FRCP) and the Faculty of Public Health (FFPH), both in the United Kingdom.

His United Kingdom work has included five years working with the Medical Civil Service, including a Senior Medical Officer appointment as Private Secretary to the Chief Medical Officer; ten years working in public health within the National Health Service as Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Regional Director of Public Health, three years as a Unit General Manager of community health services, and one year as a Professor of Community Care.

Internationally he has worked for eight years in humanitarian public health work with the World Health Organisation's Regional Office for Europe, including five years managing all the Office's humanitarian programs within the Region. During 2001-02 he worked with the European Union and the United Kingdom Department for International Development in Romania, acting as Adviser to the Romanian Prime Minister on the development of child protection services in Romania. He was then for 4 years Senior External Relations Officer at the World Health Organization's Office at the United Nations in New York.

He is now since 2006 Chief Officer of the Children's High Level Group, an NGO based in London concerned with improving arrangements for child health, education, welfare and protection services across Europe.  He is also currently Adjunct Professor of Public and Health Administration at the Robert F Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. 

Semester Course
Fall 2012 HPAM-GP.1831.001 Introduction to Global Health Policy

Why are some people in some countries so much healthier than others? This course will explore the factors that explain the unequal distribution of health and disease in the world. The course will begin with an introduction to the language of global health: the burden of disease, epidemiology, cost-effectiveness, and health systems. It will then analyze the rationale for and modes of intervention to improve global health by exploring a number of high-profile topics, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, access to pharmaceuticals, human resources for health, and maternal and child health. The course will incorporate knowledge and views from multiple academic disciplines (public health, economics, politics, management, sociology, etc) and does not require any background knowledge. It is open to students in all degree concentrations.


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Fall 2012 HPAM-GP.2244.001 Global Health Governance and Management

Traditionally, governments have the ultimate responsibility for assuring the conditions for their people to be as healthy as they can be. In this sense one of the fundamental societal goals of health services may be considered the health improvement of the population served and for which the individual government is responsible. As our understanding of the multiple determinants of health has dramatically expanded, exercising this responsibility calls for a national health policy that goes beyond planning for the personal health care system and addresses the health of communities. Broader issues of political, economic, social, institutional, educational, and environment circumstances, among others, are now seen as important determinants of health. Of particular importance is the issue of equity of access to all these resources within a country.

In the face of this added complexity, countries, especially developing countries and those in transition, face challenges from a number of global health threats. Their national health strategies may be compromised by the effects of globalization and global decision making on issues that affect health. Government leaders must not only address health problems within their borders, but those that come across their borders, whether specific diseases like HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, or the pressures of the global labour market that lead to movement of health professionals seeking better pay and working conditions from the developing to the developed world

After discussing definitions of health in international agreements and the general influences of globalization on health and health equity, the course will explore the roles and responsibilities of national health leadership, primarily Ministries of Health and governmental institutions, in assuring the health of their populations and the different strategies and variable capacities of national governments in developed, developing and countries in transition. The role of regional and local governments, professionals, civil society, communities and individuals, will also be explored.

We will then consider in some depth the role, functions and effectiveness of global organizations affecting health in the UN, NGO and business sectors as well as multilateral and bilateral donors and how they interact with each other and with national leadership. Finally we will look at emerging instruments for global health governance, how they operate and their effectiveness for promoting health action at the country level.


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Fall 2012 HPAM-GP.2825.001 Continuous Quality Improvement

This course encourages students to think creatively about what it means for a healthcare organization to make quality the highest priority. We will explore the current forces driving the push toward quality outcomes and accountability at all levels and settings of healthcare, while focusing on the philosophy of continuous improvement through team work and statistical thinking. Students will use structural tools for analysis, decision making and performance measurement.


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Fall 2012 UPADM-GP.230.001 Medical Care and Health: Comparative Perspectives

This course introduces undergraduates to the complex interplay of social factors that affect population health in any society. It focuses on the social determinants and distribution of health and disease, the organization and financing of the health care system, and the relationship of one to the other.

The first part of the class reviews divergent perspectives for thinking about health and society. We begin by comparing clinical and public health perspectives on health and illness, reviewing alternative definitions of these concepts, tools for their assessment, and the contributions of social and economic theory, as well as health services research, to the study of health and society. For example, we will we examine key studies on health and health care among geographic areas and socio-economic groups in society. We will also consider how these perspectives were influenced by the evolution of public health, medicine and the health care system over the course of the past century.

The second part of the class draws on these perspectives to study the health care system in the United States, how it compares to that of other nations and how population aging, urbanization and globalization are raising new challenges for health and society, worldwide. We begin by studying alternative approaches to health care financing and organization and analyzing the U.S. health care system in this context. Next, we consider how increases in human longevity and population aging will affect the organization and financing of health and social services. Also, we consider two emerging areas of study related to health and society: "urban health" and "global health." Finally, we consider issues of health care reform in the United States in light of the experience of other wealthy nations abroad, which have developed systems of universal health care coverage.


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Summer 2012 HPAM-GP.1830.001 Introduction to Health Policy and Management

Required for M.P.A. (health) students.

This introductory course in the Health Policy and Management program explores core topics in the study of health and health care delivery in the United States. We will discuss the distribution of health and disease in society, the organization of the U.S. health care system
and roles and behaviors of its key actors, the historical context for developments in public health and medicine, the quality and accessibility of health care services, and current events in health care reform. We will examine major themes in health care policy and
practice using an interdisciplinary approach that employs sociological, political, economic and ethical perspectives on health and disease, characteristics of health care in the U.S., and the complexity of achieving high quality and affordability given the varied (and sometimes conflicting) motivations of policy-makers, payers, providers and patients. Students will also consider the U.S. health care system in an international context to provide a comparative lens on its nature and performance versus those of other industrialized nations. The objective of this course is to build understanding of fundamental ideas and problems in the areas of health and medical care and thereby to provide a strong foundation for future studies and careers in the health care field.


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Summer 2012 HPAM-GP.2242.001 International Health Policy and Prospects (Geneva, Switzerland)

The Wagner School Summer Institute brings together faculty and students from the United States and other parts of the world for an on-site exploration of international health policy and prospects in Geneva, Switzerland. The site was chosen because it is the seat of major international organizations of the United Nations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); major NGOs such as the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Council of Churches; and other intergovernmental bodies such as World Trade Organization (WTO), that have a direct bearing on international health.

Trade policy, global communications, major economic and political reforms, violence and wars and the threat of bioterrorism have had enormous effects on health status and well being. Concern for the spread of infectious diseases, increasing rates of chronic diseases and the effectiveness of health systems to provide quality care are among the daunting challenges to health leaders today. The aim of the International Health Policy and Prospects course is to provide students with a variety of opportunities to understand the trends in world health, the architecture of global health governance, and the effects of globalization on global and national health policy making in countries. Study visits with the staff of key international health organizations based in Geneva will provide the opportunity to hear first hand the challenges they face and explore their thinking on strategy and implementation of key programs to improve health worldwide.


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Fall 2009 HPAM-GP.2244.001 Global Health Governance and Management

Traditionally, governments have the ultimate responsibility for assuring the conditions for their people to be as healthy as they can be. In this sense one of the fundamental societal goals of health services may be considered the health improvement of the population served and for which the individual government is responsible. As our understanding of the multiple determinants of health has dramatically expanded, exercising this responsibility calls for a national health policy that goes beyond planning for the personal health care system and addresses the health of communities. Broader issues of political, economic, social, institutional, educational, and environment circumstances, among others, are now seen as important determinants of health. Of particular importance is the issue of equity of access to all these resources within a country.

In the face of this added complexity, countries, especially developing countries and those in transition, face challenges from a number of global health threats. Their national health strategies may be compromised by the effects of globalization and global decision making on issues that affect health. Government leaders must not only address health problems within their borders, but those that come across their borders, whether specific diseases like HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, or the pressures of the global labour market that lead to movement of health professionals seeking better pay and working conditions from the developing to the developed world

After discussing definitions of health in international agreements and the general influences of globalization on health and health equity, the course will explore the roles and responsibilities of national health leadership, primarily Ministries of Health and governmental institutions, in assuring the health of their populations and the different strategies and variable capacities of national governments in developed, developing and countries in transition. The role of regional and local governments, professionals, civil society, communities and individuals, will also be explored.

We will then consider in some depth the role, functions and effectiveness of global organizations affecting health in the UN, NGO and business sectors as well as multilateral and bilateral donors and how they interact with each other and with national leadership. Finally we will look at emerging instruments for global health governance, how they operate and their effectiveness for promoting health action at the country level.


Download Syllabus
Summer 2009 HPAM-GP.2242.001 International Health Policy and Prospects (Geneva, Switzerland)

The Wagner School Summer Institute brings together faculty and students from the United States and other parts of the world for an on-site exploration of international health policy and prospects in Geneva, Switzerland. The site was chosen because it is the seat of major international organizations of the United Nations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); major NGOs such as the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Council of Churches; and other intergovernmental bodies such as World Trade Organization (WTO), that have a direct bearing on international health.

Trade policy, global communications, major economic and political reforms, violence and wars and the threat of bioterrorism have had enormous effects on health status and well being. Concern for the spread of infectious diseases, increasing rates of chronic diseases and the effectiveness of health systems to provide quality care are among the daunting challenges to health leaders today. The aim of the International Health Policy and Prospects course is to provide students with a variety of opportunities to understand the trends in world health, the architecture of global health governance, and the effects of globalization on global and national health policy making in countries. Study visits with the staff of key international health organizations based in Geneva will provide the opportunity to hear first hand the challenges they face and explore their thinking on strategy and implementation of key programs to improve health worldwide.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2008 HPAM-GP.2244.001 Global Health Governance and Management

Traditionally, governments have the ultimate responsibility for assuring the conditions for their people to be as healthy as they can be. In this sense one of the fundamental societal goals of health services may be considered the health improvement of the population served and for which the individual government is responsible. As our understanding of the multiple determinants of health has dramatically expanded, exercising this responsibility calls for a national health policy that goes beyond planning for the personal health care system and addresses the health of communities. Broader issues of political, economic, social, institutional, educational, and environment circumstances, among others, are now seen as important determinants of health. Of particular importance is the issue of equity of access to all these resources within a country.

In the face of this added complexity, countries, especially developing countries and those in transition, face challenges from a number of global health threats. Their national health strategies may be compromised by the effects of globalization and global decision making on issues that affect health. Government leaders must not only address health problems within their borders, but those that come across their borders, whether specific diseases like HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, or the pressures of the global labour market that lead to movement of health professionals seeking better pay and working conditions from the developing to the developed world

After discussing definitions of health in international agreements and the general influences of globalization on health and health equity, the course will explore the roles and responsibilities of national health leadership, primarily Ministries of Health and governmental institutions, in assuring the health of their populations and the different strategies and variable capacities of national governments in developed, developing and countries in transition. The role of regional and local governments, professionals, civil society, communities and individuals, will also be explored.

We will then consider in some depth the role, functions and effectiveness of global organizations affecting health in the UN, NGO and business sectors as well as multilateral and bilateral donors and how they interact with each other and with national leadership. Finally we will look at emerging instruments for global health governance, how they operate and their effectiveness for promoting health action at the country level.


Download Syllabus
Summer 2008 HPAM-GP.2242.001 International Health Policy and Prospects (Geneva, Switzerland)

The Wagner School Summer Institute brings together faculty and students from the United States and other parts of the world for an on-site exploration of international health policy and prospects in Geneva, Switzerland. The site was chosen because it is the seat of major international organizations of the United Nations such as World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); major NGOs such as the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Council of Churches; and other intergovernmental bodies such as World Trade Organization (WTO), that have a direct bearing on international health.

Trade policy, global communications, major economic and political reforms, violence and wars and the threat of bioterrorism have had enormous effects on health status and well being. Concern for the spread of infectious diseases, increasing rates of chronic diseases and the effectiveness of health systems to provide quality care are among the daunting challenges to health leaders today. The aim of the International Health Policy and Prospects course is to provide students with a variety of opportunities to understand the trends in world health, the architecture of global health governance, and the effects of globalization on global and national health policy making in countries. Study visits with the staff of key international health organizations based in Geneva will provide the opportunity to hear first hand the challenges they face and explore their thinking on strategy and implementation of key programs to improve health worldwide.


Download Syllabus