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Global Health Case Competition challenges teams from 24 universities

Nearly 140 students from 24 universities across the United States, Australia, Canada, and Sweden will gather at Emory University March 28-29 to compete in its annual International Emory Global Health Case Competition – the largest and most enduring academic global health competition in the nation.

This year student teams will spend an intensive weekend developing organizational strategies for the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure it successfully meets emerging 21st century health challenges. Teams will include undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students from multiple academic disciplines.

"The Emory Global Health Case Competition has become by far the largest and most recognized academic global health team event in the country," says Jeffrey Koplan, MD, MPH, Emory vice president for global health. "The competition is an excellent opportunity for talented students from throughout the United States and other nations to apply their knowledge and creativity to solving a real-world global health challenge."

GE is the competition's signature sponsor, with additional external sponsorship coming from Danya International, John Snow, Inc., the Pendleton Group, and the Red Brick Brewing Company. GE has sponsored Emory’s global health case competition since 2011.

"We are excited to work with Emory on this unique competition, convening students to 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.

Although the 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 to a current issue in global health.

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

Past competition topics have focused on health care policy, public health implementation and planning, business partnership/investment, medical research, logistics and management, faith/cultural understanding, international law, and other disciplines.

This year’s case, focused on the role and core purpose of the WHO in the changing 21st century global health landscape, was presented to student teams on Monday, March 24 preceding the weekend event.

Previous years’ case competition teams were charged with reducing severe childhood malnutrition in Ethiopia; 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; and developing health reform plans for France; and recommending global health investments for China.

In addition to Emory, participating universities include: Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Lund University, Mount Sinai University, New York University, Northwestern University, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Alberta, the University of California Irvine, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Melbourne, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the University of Toronto, the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, Yale University, and Yeshiva University.

Video about the competition: