Students take first place in international health care case competition

March 08, 2007
A team of graduate students from the School’s Department of Health Policy and Administration took first place recently in an international health care case competition held at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business in Tempe, AZ, on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Photograph of HPPA students

Photograph of HPPA students

UNC team members Brooke Anderson (captain), Elizabeth Hackney, Bindi Naik, John McFarlane and Jason Baker shared the recognition and a cash award of $600. Baker also was named the event’s best individual presenter.

“This is a tremendous honor for the School and our department,” said Peggy Leatt, PhD, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Administration. “The competition in these situations is always very good, so for us to come out on top is just one more indication of the quality of students we have in our program.”

Each team was asked to evaluate and respond to a specific health care case study. The response was judged using five criteria: presentation style and clarity, alternative solutions that were considered, quality of analysis and relevant supporting arguments, quality of the recommended actions and team members’ responsiveness to questions.

The case study revolved around a Hong Kong business group which was planning ten joint ventures with Chinese hospitals. The team was asked to evaluate and recommend the most favorable business strategy for the joint ventures.

After conducting an environmental analysis and evaluating strategic alternatives, the School of Public Health team proposed that the business group scale back its expansion to only five or six ventures and focus primarily on one project that already had proven successful.

“It was exhilarating to be part of this competition,” said team member McFarlane. “My teammates and I put forth a lot of extra time and effort on top of our already busy schedules. It was rewarding to see such a great payoff for these efforts and is a validation that our program is one of the best in the world.”

Advisor Bruce Fried, PhD, associate professor and director of the department’s residential master’s program, accompanied the team and expressed his pride in their accomplishment: “It is difficult to describe how impressed the judges and observers were by this team’s professionalism–except to say that spontaneous applause erupted when the team entered the dining area on the evening of the competition!”


For more information, contact Ramona DuBose, director of communications for the UNC School of Public Health, by telephone at 919-966-7467 or by email at