SPHHS students take first place in national tournament

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Four School of Public Health and Health Services students placed first in the National Association of Health Services Executives Case Competition earlier this month for their work in devising a cost-efficient health care system.

Second-year graduate students Tony Huynh, Laura Munroe and Angela Raphael and first-year student, Maha Sampathkumar – all from the Master’s in Health Services Administration program – presented their plan for a low-cost, high-quality health care system for Orlando, Fla., where the competition took place. With Congress wrestling with national health care legislation, the contest could hardly be more realistic.

NAHSE annually holds the conference for first- and second-year graduate students, giving participants practical experience in addressing health administration concerns, an experience GW’s team calls “unbelievable.”

Three weeks before the competition, teams receive a hypothetical health care situation and must develop a plan in response.

The GW team’s plan aimed at incentivizing patients to use higher-quality health care and utilize personal physicians more regularly by paying physicias for their performance. The plan reduced health care expenses by minimizing patients’ use of hospital emergency systems.

Presenting in front of judges was a new and stressful experience, but “the more you do, the more confident you get,” Huynh said.

The team from UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health came in second place, Rush University in Chicago came in third an University of Michigan came in fourth place.

The winners hope to invest some of the award money in financial support for future GW NAHSE Competition teams.

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