A Lesson in Collaboration: NU’s First Global Health Case Competition

The first Northwestern University Intramural Global Health Case Competition was held on February 15th, 2014 in Harris Hall 107 and 108.  A total of 40 students (eight groups) from all ten schools at Northwestern participated.  Students groups were presented with a global health ‘case’ five days prior to the competition.  The case presented the scenario of being a manager of maternal and child health programs for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and what recommendations one would make to address the problem of childhood pneumonia in Uganda if given 10 million dollars for a three year program.  Pneumonia was the leading infectious cause of death in children under five years old around the world. In 2012, approximately 20,000 children under five died from pneumonia in Uganda, causing 15 percent of under-five deaths.

Groups were judged by three experts in the field; Megan Rhodes, Deputy Chief of USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Division, Marissa Leffler from USAID’s Global Health Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact, and Mandy Sharp Eizinger, Global Citizenship Fellow in the Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  First place prize was an all-expense paid trip to Emory University’s International Global Health Case Competition and $1,000. Second place prize was $600.

What follows is a reflection of one of the winning team members, Emily Drewry, a student in the Medill School of Journalism. Other members of the winning team were Suvai Gunasekaran and Smitha Sarma in the Feinberg School of Medicine and Grace Jaworski and Pooja Garg from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The second place winners were third-year MD/MPH students Chelsea Williams, Ashley Ceniceros and Adina Goldberger, Joshua Altman from the Kellogg School of Management and Alessandro Culotti from The Graduate School.

A Lesson in Collaboration: NU’s First Global Health Case Competition

by Emily Drewry, BA student in Integrated Marketing Communications and Global Health

Eight teams of undergraduate and graduate students participated in Northwestern University’s first Global Health Case Competition this past weekend, each giving a 15-minute presentation on how to decrease pneumonia-related deaths in children 0-5 in Uganda.

For the week leading up to the competition, 40 undergraduate and graduate students, split into teams that represented at least three Northwestern schools, got to know the details of our case, preparing to impress the judges with a solution that aimed to be innovative, realistic, and overall, successful. I was thrilled to be participating in the event – I am constantly trying to make the most of every experience I come across at Northwestern, and this competition seemed to offer the perfect mix of challenge and insight that I couldn’t pass up.

When I first heard of the case competition that was to take place this winter, my curiosity sparked. I’ve heard many of my friends practicing cases, but never before had I considered participating in one myself. Never one to write off any opportunities, however, I sent in my application to join a team. Weeks later, participants were placed into eight teams. I found myself on Team 5 with a group of four capable women, and before I could blink, our preparations were underway for the first ever Northwestern Global Health Case Competition. We met for breakfast, Skyped weekly, and prepared through research and practice to tackle whatever problem we were given at the beginning of the week…..

This piece has been cross posted from the NU Global Health Studies blog.  To read the rest of the article, click here.

You can also read Kate Klein’s previous NPHR blog piece about the Emory Global Health Case Competition here.

Cover Photo by Stokpic via Pixabay: Creative Commons

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About NPHR Blog (223 Articles)
The is the blog of the Northwestern Public Health Review journal. The blog and journal are both student run and contain research articles, opinions, interviews and other content pertaining to public health.

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