Case Competitions: Applying Classroom Learning to Real Life Problem Solving

Anthony Stanowski (left) and Ken Hanover.

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s annual Health Administration Case Competition. (At left, I am standing with Ken Hanover, one of the competition judges. Ken has had a long and distinguished career as a healthcare CEO in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts.)

This is the twelfth year the University has sponsored the competition and I’ve had the privilege to observe many of them. The UAB competition is open only to students from CAHME-accredited programs.

Seeing the young people who take part in case competitions always makes me feel optimistic about the future of healthcare. The young people who participate in these competitions bring an energy and zeal that suggests they will approach their future positions in healthcare administration in the same way.

More importantly, the case competitions ask these students to develop solutions to real-world problems. The teams are judged by executives from around the United States in different aspects of healthcare. In the UAB competition, students were asked to develop strategies for a rural Tennessee hospital, Jellico Community Hospital (JCH), faced with need to create a sustainable market position by aligning with community needs.

The winning team from the University of Minnesota, from left: Jake Staley, Andrew Lamprecht, and Katherine Klingel; with Christy Harris Lamak, Chair, Department of Health Services Administration at UAB.

The University of Minnesota MHA Program won the competition, followed by Rush University and Johns Hopkins University. The Minnesota team focused on how JCH can increase operational efficiency and profitability through addressing key opportunities for improvement: Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) and Revenue Cycle Management.  Through focusing on the community, partnership with other providers, and a primary care physician focus was seen as essential to increase care coordination and drive stakeholder benefits. Through their recommendations, the team sought to have JCH adapt and maximizes its value to the community, becoming an asset in an increasingly value-based world.

The CAHME web site maintains a list of the major healthcare management case competitions in which CAHME-accredited

Rush University participants (from left) Katherine Koo, Gwen Ledford, and Ariann Ippensen during the preliminary round of case presentations.

programs take part, and includes winners of 2017 and 2018 (to date), and a schedule of the remaining competitions in 2018.

Congratulations to all the students who participate in the UAB Case Competition;  the hard work they put into the preparation of the case will help them prepare for their goal of serving others through healthcare.  Thanks to the judges who participated who work to preserve a longstanding tradition of our profession in giving back and mentoring younger people.  Finally, a special shout out to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Services Administration for their commitment to advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO

New Case Competition Available for CAHME Students

CAHME is pleased to support a new case competition sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The first annual HIMSS Student Case Competition encourages interdisciplinary teams of graduate, residents, or Fellows to analyze a HIMSS-supplied case study. From this analysis, teams will apply recommendations supported by current health information technology practices that can transform care, while coupling recommendations with advocacy outreach at the federal and state levels.

Winners will be recognized at HIMSS18, the world’s largest health IT conference, and have the opportunity to showcase their talent, network with thoughts leaders, and gain a competitive edge.

Interested students can learn more and register for the competition on the HIMSS web site. Registration closes on November 20, 2017.

CAHME and Aramark Partnering to Support Innovation in Healthcare Management Education

A Stanowski smilingCAHME and Aramark  have announced a three-year partnership to provide grants to CAHME-accredited programs also served by Aramark.

Grants will be awarded for initiatives that support participation of healthcare management students in research, seminars, case study competitions, and other related activities.

“We are committed to supporting the development of future leaders in healthcare,” said Victor Crawford, Aramark’s chief AramarkLogooperating officer for Healthcare, Facilities, and Higher Education. “Encouraging opportunities for healthcare management students to explore and apply innovative thinking will foster better healthcare experiences for the patients of tomorrow.”

Applications will be accepted beginning in late June, and will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from CAHME, Aramark, and independent organizations. The first year’s recipients will be announced in September. Four grants will be awarded each year through 2019. Full details about grant application and eligibility criteria will appear on the CAHME web site in the near future.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO

Students Close Out First Year with Case Competition Wins

OSU Case Comp_1st Place_UAB
First place finishers from the University of Alabama Birmingham, from left: Carson Ralphs, Tammy Chang, and Josh Arrage.

Congratulations go to the 12 universities with CAHME-accredited programs that participated in the Ohio State University College of Public Health Master of Health Administration 6th Annual Health Administration Case Competition in March.

Students from the University of Alabama Birmingham took 1st place, with students from Virginia Commonwealth University and Baylor University coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Honorable Mention went to students from Boston University, Rush University, and the University of Minnesota.

The OSU competition is limited to first year graduate students in CAHME-accredited programs. This year’s case asked the teams to develop strategies for implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) for a health system.

The competition also included the 13th annual Leadership Development Symposium, which featured remarks by Charleta Tavares, a state senator in Ohio and CEO of PrimaryOne Health, a network of federally-qualified health centers. Sen. Tavares spoke on the importance of policy and advocacy in helping underserved populations.

OSU Case Competition Committee
Thanks to the OSU Organizing Committee, from left: Ian Breitz, Nicole Haller, Rachel Rutledge, Alaina Lotozo, Katie Racicot, Christine Sumner, Stefany Mayhew, Amanda Stopek, Lizzy Johnsen.

The OSU event highlights key components of CAHME’s mission by exposing graduate students to industry thought leaders and providing opportunities to apply classroom learning in real-life situations. CAHME acknowledges the commitment of Ohio State University and Julie Robbins, PhD, program director for the OSU MHA Program, for advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education.

While participation in the case competition is by invitation only, interested schools are encouraged to contact the event’s organizers for more information about 2018.

Rush, Trinity, and The George Washington are Trifecta of 2017 Cleveland Clinic Case Competition 

Rush, Trinity, and The George Washington are Trifecta of 2017 Cleveland Clinic Case Competition 

Congratulations to the Rush University, Trinity University and The George Washington University teams for coming in 1-2-3 in the 4th Cleveland Clinic MBA/MHA Case Competition!  16 teams from graduate programs in healthcare management were invited to come to Cleveland Clinic for the competition on April 13 and 14, 2017.  While the teams invited included both CAHME and non-CAHME programs, the top three programs are CAHME accredited.   These teams were awarded prizes of $15,000 for the first place team, $9,000 for the second, and $5,000 for the third.

Congratulations particularly to the leaders of these programs – Peter Butler (Chair of the Department of HSM at Rush), Ed Schumacher (Program Director at Trinity), and Len Friedman (Program Director at GW).  Along with their faculty, their commitment to advancing the quality of graduate healthcare management education is reflected in the performance of their teams.

A special shout out to Cleveland Clinic for their commitment to the future leaders of healthcare.  For more information about the Cleveland Clinic Case Competition, go to

(Rush University’s first place team is pictured here with the Executive Judges. Pictured left to right are: Bill Peacock, Ann Huston, Shanna Koickal, Blake Dobrich, Jillian DeMik, Stephen Jones, MD and Brian Harte, MD. (Photo credit – Cleveland Clinic Case Competition)