November 7, 2016

Three health policy and management students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have won third place in the annual Everett V. Fox Student Case Analysis and Presentation Competition, hosted by the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) during the association’s yearly educational conference, held Oct. 11-13 in Las Vegas.

(L-R) Yamira Maldonado, Mark Travis and Emily Tierney were third-place winners at the 2016 NAHSE case competition.

(L-R) Yamira Maldonado, Mark Travis and Emily Tierney were third-place winners at the 2016 NAHSE case competition.

Yamira Maldonado, Emily Tierney and Mark Travis, Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) students, are members of the 2016 case competition team. They continue a long Gillings School tradition of placing among the top teams nationally in health-care case competitions.

The event, begun in 1996, is part of NAHSE’s scholarship program. Each of the Gillings School team members was awarded $2,000.

Maldonado, Tierney and Travis competed against 23 teams from MHA programs across the country. Each team was asked to develop and present a business plan to address mental health delivery for the state of California. The experience provides graduate students with an opportunity to enhance problem analysis and presentation skills, while exposing them to real-life health services administration issues.

Maldonado said working on the case was a great learning experience.

“We were definitely challenged because it was such a difficult case,” she said. “The skills we developed will be useful for us as we move forward through our careers.”

She said the conference was much more meaningful than the competition alone.

“It is a way to build a network with health-care leaders across the nation who really want to grow underrepresented minority health-care leaders,” she said. “I connected with amazing alumni who are serving as mentors for me as I begin my career, and I am excited to be that for students who will succeed me.”

Travis said he was “thrilled” to represent UNC at the event.

“The competition was a great opportunity for me to test the analytical skills I developed at the Gillings School against students from across the country. It was a great experience, and I’ll be able to apply the lessons I learned throughout my career.”

Tierney praised Gillings School faculty members whom she said prepared her to compete in the fields of public health and health care.

“Participating in the NAHSE Case Competition allowed us to tackle a current health-care problem with a comprehensive solution that pulled from topics across all our classes,” she said. “It proved how well our department, faculty and curriculum prepare us to face the challenges faced by health-care leaders every day.”

Like Maldonado, she appreciated the opportunity to connect with alumni from the UNC health policy and management program and other conference attendees who are executive leaders in health systems nationwide.

“All of them were committed to providing us with feedback and supporting all the case competition participants, Tierney said.

“Each year, our students look forward to the NAHSE competition,” said Shoou-Yih Daniel Lee, PhD, professor and chair of the Gillings School’s health policy and management department. “This year’s case, a very challenging one, focused on establishing a mental health delivery system for the state of California. Our team was able to utilize the many competencies and skills they have received throughout their time in the program. Yamira, Mark and Emily represented the Gillings School and the broader UNC community very favorably, and we are so pleased with their third-place win.”


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or

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