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An Intensive Course in Public Health Response
Health Emergencies in Large Populations


For more than 20 years, Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) has offered humanitarian workers an intensive training experience in public health principles and disaster epidemiology. The course was founded based on the need for humanitarian workers to acquire a holistic understanding of the needs of refugees, internally displaced persons, and others affected by natural disasters and conflict in order to more effectively manage health crises in emergency settings.  

The program is held at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for two weeks, annually in January, and requires pre-coursework to be completed online in the preceding December.

The Summer Institute will be held July 13-31, 2015 and applications are due no later than June 20, 2015.

More information about the course can be found at the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response website dedicated to the HELP Course

  • Who Should Attend

    All healthcare and public health professionals working in large-scale health emergencies and humanitarian assistance. 

    Previous participants have come from a variety of civil society, governmental, and private organizations and include nurses, physicians, public health professionals and humanitarian aid workers focused on health in humanitarian emergencies. 


  • Course Topics

    Begining with an exploration of the fundamental areas of humanitarian assistance-- including definitions of disasters, what makes public health in emergencies unique, and the major organizations engaged in humanitarian assistance--the course uses interprofessional presentations and discussions to focus on: 

    • Disaster management
    • Epidemiology and assessments
    • Environmental health
    • Food and nutrition
    • Information and surveillance
    • Mental health
    • Communicable diseases
    • Reproductive health
    • Humanitarian ethics
    • International humanitarian law
    • Human rights and human security 
  • Credit

    Course may be taken for academic or continuing nurse education (CNE) credit.

    Certificate is awarded to all non-credit participants upon satisfactory course completion.

    If you are a Johns Hopkins degree seeking student, please register as you normally would for a regular term/semester. If you are not a Johns Hopkins degree seeking student, please complete the application and submit the required materials prior to June 20, 2015

  • Lead Faculty

    In addition to the two lead faculty, the course is typically taught by an interdisciplinary team, including physicians, public health professionals, nurses, and other aid workers who influence policy and practice as part of their professional roles and responsibilities. 

  • What They're Saying

    “This has been a great learning experience for me. Many thinks for all the special care and mentoring.”

    “Thank you for a great three weeks. We have learned a lot in a very friendly environment.”

    “It has been nothing short of amazing, and I have learned so much!”

    “A great inspirational HELP course!”

    “I am now more dedicated than ever to my career in Global Health.”


Apply Now

Through the School of Public Health HELP Course Coordination Team.


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health
615 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205


Course Dates

Summer Institute - July 13-31, 2015

Contact Information

HELP Course Coordination Team

Professional Programs

Tuition & Fees


Academic Credit

CNE certificate awarded upon completion.