Global Health Case Competition challenges U.S., international student teams

By Holly Korschun | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | March 26, 2015

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Undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students from 24 universities will compete at Emory March 27-28.

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Nearly 140 students from universities across the United States, as well as Australia and Denmark will gather in 24 teams at Emory University March 27-28 to compete in the 5th annual International Emory Global Health Case Competition – the largest and most enduring academic global health competition in the nation.

"The Emory Global Health Case Competition has become by far the most recognized academic global health team event in the country," says Jeffrey Koplan, MD, MPH, Emory vice president for global health. "The competition continues to grow in popularity, with this year’s pool of applicants being the largest we have had to date. The demand for the competition is increasing, and it provides a unique opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and creativity to solving a real-world global health challenge."

The GE Foundation is the competition’s signature sponsor. Additional sponsors include Medtronic, John Snow, Inc., the Pendleton Group, Farmer’s to 40, and the Red Brick Brewing Company. The GE Foundation has sponsored Emory’s international global health case competition since 2011.

"We are excited to continue our work with Emory on this unique competition, where students develop solutions to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems," says David Barash, chief medical officer and executive director, global health for the GE Foundation. "This interdisciplinary competition helps students build the skills needed to address real-world health crises."

Although the International Emory Global Health Case Competition uses a similar format to a business school case competition, it is unique in requiring students to work in multidisciplinary teams to analyze and present a solution, not unlike the experience of a clinical case team.  

"Between the intense, iterative process for students who envision and evolve the case, and the integrative, innovative steps required by the student team members in problem solving and for articulating and championing solutions, the case competition provides unforgettable, potentially career defining moments for future leaders, who will, someday soon, address challenges facing the planet," says Robert Breiman, MD, director of the Emory Global Health Institute.

The multidisciplinary competition, developed and coordinated by the Emory Global Health Institute and its Student Advisory Committee, includes graduate and undergraduate and professional school students from a variety of fields including business, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, public health, theology, the social sciences and the humanities, and agricultural sciences. An external panel of judges evaluates the competition, and students receive awards and prizes.

Some of the case competitions have included developing strategies for reorganizing the World Health Organization so that it better meets the health challenges of the 21st century; reducing severe childhood malnutrition in Ethiopia, addressing childhood obesity in Mexico, and tobacco health burdens in Gujarat, India; developing program priorities for a refugee health agency in three east African countries; addressing social and health disparities in Sri Lanka; developing health reform plans for France; and recommending global health investments for China. This year’s case, which was presented to student teams on Saturday, March 21 preceding the next weekend’s event, focuses on developing potential strategies to reduce gun violence in Honduras.

Participating universities include: Boston University, Claremont Graduate University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Emory University, Harvard University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai University, Johns Hopkins University, Medical University of South Carolina, Northwestern University, State University of New York Downstate, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, University of Colorado at Denver Anschutz Medical Center, University of Copenhagen, University of Kentucky, University of Melbourne, University of Miami, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Vanderbilt University, and Yeshiva University.

Because of the increased interest in this year’s competition, EGHI is offering the opportunity to wait-listed schools to participate in a video version of the competition. Participants in the video competition are Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Florida, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.

More information about the student case competition is available here.

View a video about the competition here.

About the Emory Global Health Institute
The Emory Global Health Institute was established in September 2006 as part of Emory University’s strategic plan. Founding the EGHI was a natural evolution for Emory University as it builds on a strong foundation in global health research, training, and scholarship in Emory University School of Medicine, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, the Rollins School of Public Health, the Emory Vaccine Center, and other schools and departments including anthropology, area studies, biology, chemistry, and theology.  Emory's relationships with prominent public health organizations and agencies also made it an ideal place to launch an academic center focused on improving global health. The University has longstanding, close working relationships with The Carter Center and the Task Force for Global Health, organizations that have formal affiliations with Emory. And Emory's faculty, staff, and students partner routinely with other Atlanta-based health-related organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, and Morehouse School of Medicine.

About the GE Foundation
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to building a world that works better. We empower people by helping them build the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. We equip communities with the technology and capacity to improve access to better health and education. We elevate ideas that are tackling the world's toughest challenges to advance economic development and improve lives. The GE Foundation is powered by the generosity and talent of our employees, who have a strong commitment to their communities. We are at work making the world work better. Follow the GE Foundation at www.gefoundation.com<http://www.gefoundation.com/> and on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.