BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Birmingham was the site of a unique contest to test the knowledge and skills of future health administrators in a “real world” health care organization case scenario. The 2nd Health Administration Case Competition, hosted by the UAB Department of Health Services Administration, was held on February 7, 2008, drawing teams of graduate students from twenty-one universities from across the country. UAB Health System sponsored the competition, which awarded cash prizes to the top three teams selected by a panel of judges.
Each of the twenty-one teams was comprised of 2-3 students enrolled in an accredited health administration graduate program. The case study for 2008 was related to the improvement of a hospital’s emergency department. Each team received the case study scenario in early January and was asked 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. The teams convened in Birmingham, Alabama, to make oral presentations of their work and to field questions from a panel of eight nationally-recognized health administration professionals. Five teams were selected as finalists, who then presented their cases for a second time to a larger audience that included the judges and other audience members.
“This case competition provided students from throughout the country an opportunity to apply what they have learned to practice with a real-life, real-time case study,” said Gerald L. Glandon, Ph.D., professor and chair of the UAB Department of Health Services Administration. “The case is designed to be a capstone experience for their graduate school training.”
First place in the competition and a $9,000 cash prize was awarded to the team from The Ohio State University; second place with a cash prize of $6,000 to the team from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; and, third place with a cash prize of $4,500 went to the team from Arizona State University. Three additional teams received special recognition for professionalism (Northwestern University), innovation (University of Florida), and most engaging presentation (University of Minnesota).
UAB Health System interim CEO Dr. Ray Watts served as master of ceremonies for the Awards Dinner. The awards ceremony was followed by the L R. Jordan Distinguished Lecture. The lecture series, in its fourth year, honors L.R. “Rush” Jordan, a long-time health care executive and professor of health administration at UAB. The series was established to sustain Jordan’s legacy of integrating health care practitioners into the classroom. This year’s presenter was Charles D. Stokes, FACHE, President of North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Mr. Stokes, a 1983 graduate from UAB’s Department of Health Services Administration, led the team from NMMC that received the 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Their journey and the leadership lessons formed the basis of his lecture, “The Journey to Excellence through Inspirational Leadership.”
On the first day of the competition, the students attended a luncheon featuring speaker Lydia Reed, MBA,CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), a not- for- profit association of university-based educational programs, faculty, practitioners, and provider organizations. The panel of judges for the competition included: Art Chambers, M. D., Medical Director of Emergency Services, North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS; Joseph O. Claypool, Associate Vice President for Clinical Network Development, UK HealthCare, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; Wanda Della-Calce, RN, Service Line Administrator, North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS; Michael Denham, Service Line Administrator, North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS; Patrick Hays, Former Chief Executive Officer, BlueCross BlueShield Association; Wayne M. Lerner, DPH, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Holy Cross Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; Marlon L. Priest, M. D., Senior Vice President and Medical Officer, Bon Secours Health System, Inc., Marriottsville, Maryland; and Catherine J. Robbins, Vice President, Cain Brothers.
The 3rd Health Administration Case Competition is scheduled to be held in Birmingham on February 18-19, 2009.