Baruch College wins national health administration competition

The fifth annual Health Administration Case Competition was conducted by UAB's Department of Health Services Administration.

Entering for the first time, Baruch College in New York, N.Y., topped 28 other national graduate schools in the fifth annual Health Administration Case Competition conducted by University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Health Services Administration. The University of Central Florida and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill placed second and third, respectively.

UAB Health System sponsored the competition, which awarded cash prizes to the top three teams selected by a panel of 13 nationally recognized health-administration professional judges. The winner was announced Feb. 17, 2011, during the seventh annual L.R. “Rush” Jordan Distinguished Lecture in Birmingham. Baruch Mount Sinai MBA graduate students, one of 10 senior colleges of The City University of New York, won a cash prize of $9,000.

The case study was based on the move toward an accountable care organization at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston.

“The analysis of the case study by the students is on par with what Memorial Hermann Healthcare System would expect from paid consultants,” said Chuck Stokes, COO of the system. “The students identified more than 75 percent of the strategies that our organization has implemented or considered implementing.”

After the competition, Stokes debriefed the group on the actual strategies his system is deploying. Stokes commented he plans to take several ideas from the competition back to his board.

“As we redesign the new model of health care, it’s good to know that we have such bright, innovative professionals who will be developing and implementing strategies that will improve the quality of health care at a reduced cost.”

Each team comprised two to three students enrolled in a CAHME-accredited health-administration graduate program. The teams had three weeks to prepare a comprehensive analysis and develop a set of practical recommendations in the areas of leadership, staffing issues, operational efficiency, design challenges, finance and marketing.

In the preliminary rounds, each team presented to a panel of two to three judges. Six teams selected as finalists presented their cases to a larger audience that included all judges and audience members.

“We are exposing the future leaders the forces of health-care delivery today,” said Gerald L. Glandon, Ph.D., professor and chair of the UAB Department of Health Services Administration. “We are bringing students from across the country the opportunity to apply what they have learned in real-life, real-time case study.”

Finalists included Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University and Pennsylvania University. The honorable mentions included Ohio State University, UAB, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri and University of Pittsburgh.