2nd Annual Global Health Business Case Competition!

Seattle is home to an incredibly robust web of organizations and companies working in global health. The University of Washington is home to an impressive number of top ranked academic programs across disciplines. The Global Health Business Case Competition taps into both of those networks and offers students, both graduate and undergraduate, an opportunity to work across disciplines on a global health problem important to the Seattle and UW global health community.

On the evening of Jan 19, 2017, 29 teams (25 undergraduate and 4 graduate, a 60% increase over the first year) were given a case co-authored by Dr. Debra Glassman and Jess Rush called, “Diarrheal Disease in Kenya; Addressing Post-Acute Mortality of Children Under the Age of Five.” Students were charged with assessing the costs and benefits of three approaches to solving the problem. The teams had to choose one of three options to pursue first: treating a greater number of children with antibiotics, providing additional follow-up care after initial treatment, or addressing malnutrition of children. Teams had to grapple with factors such as antimicrobial resistance; the shortage of health care facilities/workers in rural Kenya; the costs of, and access to, drugs, supplements, and food; and cultural and structural norms.

Students had just 24 hours to do their research and create the slide decks,. On Saturday morning, Jan 21, the teams presented their solutions (in two parallel tracks-one for graduate and one for undergraduate students) to panels of judges representing the Seattle global health and business communities. Judges scored teams on their analysis, style, rational, and ability to handle the question and answer session. The two highest scoring undergraduate teams, as well as the two highest scoring graduate student teams were awarded prizes.

A student presents during the 2nd annual GHBCC

A student presents during the 2nd annual GHBCC

The case for the second annual competition was inspired by a current study that the World Health Organization is running, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Drs. Patty Pavlinac and Judd Walson from the UW’s Department of Global Health are leading the Kenya site of the study and were instrumental partners in writing the case- providing literature resources, proof reading, and other support. Writing a new case, based on the current and important work of the local community was a hallmark innovation for this second year of the competition.

The Foster School was fortunate to partner not just with our colleagues in the Department of Global Health, but with the greater community who served as judges. They represented an array of local businesses and organizations: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Net Hope, Ness Consulting, Proliance Surgeons, International Insight Consulting, MED25 International, Pilgrim Africa, Huebner Advisory LLC, Institute of Translational Health Sciences, Limeade, Rubicon Strategy Group, Intuitive IP, Intellectual Ventures, and several UW academic departments.


Global Health Comp 2017 34

Students discuss the case with author Dr. Debra Glassman

The first and second place teams from the undergraduate and graduate track are:

Global Health Comp 2017 28.1

Undergraduate student track winners

Undergraduate 1st place:

Aria Y Cha, Human Centered Design and Engineering; Design

Na Young Chung, Public Health

Truman Ngo, Business

Hanna Dudsic, Business


Undergraduate 2nd place:

Samuel Silver, Business

Max Rumaner, Engineering

Hannah McConnaughey, Business

Nicholas Harmon, Business


Graduate 1st place:

Maher Khelifi, Biomedical and Health Informatics

Global Health Comp 2017 30.1

Graduate student track winners

Katherine Anderson, Business

Brian Conley, Law

Marleny Santos, Business


Graduate 2nd place:

Kevin Cussen, Business

Dongchi Han, Bioengineering

Victor Hsieh, Business

Yu Wang, Global Health


Thank you to all of the teams, judges, and our Global Health colleagues for a successful 2nd annual Global Health Business Case Competition!

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