SPH Students Win-Place at the 2015 UMN Global Health Case Competition

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																			February 17, 2015

Congratulations to School of Public Health student Nils Johnson and his fellow members of Team 6 for their win at the second annual UMN Global Health Case Competition on January 31, 2015.

Global health case competitions are events where teams are asked to design an achievable solution for a real-world scenario problem and then present it before a panel of judges.

Team 6 members Kathryn Gustafson, Balvindar Singh, Nils Johnson, Tarun Jain and Brian Mikolajczyk.

“We’re all very proud of the work we’ve done and excited that it paid off,” said Johnson, a Master of Health Care Administration student.

In addition to Johnson, five other SPH students also performed well and were on each of the top-four placing teams.

This year’s edition of the competition brought together a total of 14 teams and challenged them to propose a bid to the International Olympic Committee for a city in Uganda, India or Thailand to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

As part of the proposals, each team was required to develop public health interventions that would improve the population health of the host city or country.

Johnson said Team 6 chose Bangkok, Thailand, because of the city’s preexisting infrastructure for supporting large-scale tourism.

“Then we proposed a few public health initiatives to target non-communicable diseases–like heart disease, stroke, diabetes–that are on the rise,” said Johnson. “This included a traveling health fair and partnerships with monks around the country to communicate the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”

According to Johnson, employing Buddhist monks in their proposal was likely the key element that earned his team the win.

“Our use of these spiritual leaders was supported by past successes including them in public health campaigns and the abundance of monks relative to doctors,” said Johnson.

With the win, Team 6 is now entered in Emory University’s 2015 Virtual Global Health Case Competition scheduled for March.

First Place – Team 6
• Kathryn Gustafson (Pharmacy)
• Balvindar Singh (Biological Sciences)
• Tarun Jain (Management)
Nils Johnson (Public Health)
• Brian Mikolajczyk (Science and Engineering)
• Team Coach: Dr. Srinand Sreevatsan (Veterinary Medicine)

Second Place
Julia Lee (Public Health)
Uzoma Abakporo (Public Health)
• Ainslee Neu (Biological Sciences)
• Oriana Beaudet (Nursing)
• Erin Weslander (Pharmacy)
• Simon Cecil (Public Affairs)
• Team Coach: Dr. Carolyn Garcia (Nursing)

Third Place (tie)
Cesar Dominguez Marquez (Public Health)
• Bonnie Baumgartner (Science and Engineering)
• Faiza Aziz (Biological Sciences)
• Alex Vo (Medical)
PaHoua Vang (Public Health)
• Jessie Jiang (Management)
• Team Coach: Noel Jarvis

Third Place (tie)
• Sirikan Rojanasarot (Pharmacy)
• Joy Hwang (Pharmacy)
• Rebecca St. Germaine (Pharmacy)
• Emily Myers (Liberal Arts)
Prajwal Pradhan (Public Health)
• Felicia Hansell (Medical)
• Team Coach: Karin Hamilton (Veterinary Medicine)

~Post by Charlie Plain

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