Public health students take second in national case competition

Case Competition

National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) Case Competition. From left: Larry Wrobel, Lalli Akurati, Ose Ituah, Lauren Marei and Katie Carow.

A team of students in the UIC School of Public Health’s Master of Healthcare Administration program earned second place in the National Association of Health Services Executives Case Competition.

The competition is a component of the association’s annual conference, which this year was held in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 10-12. The team included three students: Ose Ituah and Lalli Akurati, and Lauren Marei. Ketki Parmar was an alternate student on the team.

“We have sent a team to compete in the Case Competition every year for several years,” said Larry Wrobel, clinical assistant professor of health policy and administration and director of the master of healthcare administration program in the UIC School of Public Health. “This year there were 31 teams from around the country, and we came in second — that’s the best we have ever placed.”

Ohio State University won the competition. The UIC team placed ahead of the University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Iowa.

The Case Competition is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Students in graduate programs in health administration, business administration and public health form teams of up to three students and are each given the same case study. Teams must analyze the issues facing the health care organization featured in the case. This year, students were asked to come up with ideas for how a health care system could deliver care to chronically ill older patients more efficiently and effectively.

Teams were given the materials for the case three weeks before the conference. There were three rounds of presentations, and five teams — including the UIC team — made it to the final presentation, which took place at the conference.

Ituah said that this year the UIC team was unique in that he and colleague Akurati are both in their first year in the UIC graduate program, whereas most years all competitors are second-year students. The second place win came with $3,000 in prize money for each of the UIC students.

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