Winning never gets old.
So say the three health policy and management students at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health who are now part of a long tradition of winning case competitions.
Ms. Oluoma Chukwu and Ms. Lauren Jordan, second-year Master of Healthcare Administration students, and Ms. Jessica Broadus, second-year student in the Master of Science in Public Health program, took first prize at the 22nd annual Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition, held Oct. 17 – 20 in San Antonio. Each came home with a $4,000 scholarship.
[Photo: (L-R) UNC’s Ms. Oluoma Chukwu, Ms. Lauren Jordan and Ms. Jessica Broadus won first prize in the 2017 NAHSE case competition.]
In the past nine NAHSE competitions, the UNC Gillings School has had six top-three finishes, three of them first-place.
The event, hosted as always by the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), centered upon the theme, “Creating a Healthy America Together: Serving Our Communities.”
Teams of one to three students, drawn from graduate programs in health administration, business administration and public health, are asked to examine a unique case study and are charged with analyzing the challenges facing the health-care organization featured in the case. During the event, they have 20 minutes to present their analysis and recommendations before a panel of judges.
This year, 30 teams from across the United States competed to analyze a case related to making the city of Oakland, Calif., the healthiest city in the country.
The Gillings School team members were grateful for the opportunity to put their classroom learning to work at the competition.
“The competition gave me the added confidence to achieve what I always knew I could, the perseverance to reach my goals, and experiences that will follow me throughout my entire career,” Ms. Jordan said. “I wouldn’t trade this opportunity – or my team – for anything, and I am so grateful to all those who made it possible for us to compete.”
Ms. Chukwu agreed.
“NAHSE was an amazing experience that challenged me and stretched my capacity for growth,” she said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be challenged and to work with two phenomenal women who pushed me to be better. I leave this experience more confident and knowledgeable than when I came in.”
This year, in addition to the three second-year team members, the health policy and management department supported Mr. Ruben Joseph, a first-year Master of Healthcare Administration student, to attend the event as a team observer. Mr. Joseph will serve as team leader for next year’s competition.
Nine other first-year health policy and management students also were able to attend the event, thanks to the generosity of some department alumni who are active in NAHSE and know how beneficial attending the event can be for students.
Ms. Broadus also spoke about the benefits of taking part in the event.
“Participating in the case competition was a valuable experience that allowed me to hone my critical thinking and presentation skills through real-world problem solving,” she said. “Furthermore, the NAHSE network is unparalleled in the support and opportunities it can provide.”
Dr. Morris Weinberger, Vergil N. Slee Distinguished Professor of Healthcare Quality Management and chair of the department of health policy and management, said department staff and faculty always look forward to supporting a team at the NAHSE competition.
“Our students invest a lot of time preparing their business proposal and final presentation,” Dr. Weinberger said, “and I am confident that this benefits them far beyond the actual case competition. I’ve heard from students that they reference this experience frequently in job interviews. We are so proud of Jessica, Lauren and Oluoma for bringing home first place in this year’s event.”
Founded in 1968, NAHSE is the premier professional association for African-American executives in the field of health care. An important part of their mission has been to provide networking and scholarship opportunities, particularly for students of color.