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April 24, 2012 

HSM Teams Win Both National Health Care Case Competitions HSM makes unprecedented news when it wins both health care student case competitions in a single academic year.
On October 14, 2011, a team of three Rush University HSM students, Samyukt (Sam) Bajaj (HSM ’12), Kevin Weng (HSM ’12) and Jyotsna (Jona) Somaraju (HSM ’13), won the prestigious national 2011 Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition, sponsored by the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE). The team traveled to the annual NAHSE Conference in Las Vegas and competed against 21 of the best graduate health care administration programs in the country. They gave outstanding presentations and performed superbly when fielding questions from the judges; the HSM program is very proud.
The team appreciated the support of the HSM Alumni Association and Donald Oder Fund for sponsoring the student travel. They also expressed a heartfelt thanks to the case competition faculty sponsors, Diane Howard and Alicia Smith, for their time in working with the team and for all of the faculty who provided support and guidance during the preparation process. As team captain, Sam Bajaj stated, “This has been an amazing experience, and we would not have made it this far without the support of everyone at Rush, particularly those who took the time out of their busy schedules to share their experience and challenge us to think about the case from every angle. This was a challenging case and the competition was intense.”
The NAHSE case competition was a demanding, multi-day event. Faculty sponsor, Alicia Smith commented that, “I am really proud of this team! They were exceptional and presented stronger with each round. Judges of the competition specifically noted to me how well the team understood the application of the technology, the roles of the staff and their views on the significant support of the community partnerships.” Faculty sponsor, Diane Howard commented that the team had talked about what the last month has meant for them, how they will use this experience to propel their careers, and how they really came together as a team over the last few weeks. The HSM program is very proud of the student team’s performance and appreciative of the wonderful faculty support provided to these students. Great job Sam, Kevin, and Jona!
HSM student team of Dana Stelmokas (HSM‘12), Mollie Pillman (HSM ‘12), and Sveinn Sigurdsson (HSM ‘13) won the 2012 Health Administration Case Competition sponsored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System in February. The team’s faculty advisors were Robert Silverstein, PhD and Shital Shah, PhD. After the first round, Shital noted that the group handled the Q&A very effectively and impressed the judges by having a slide for each question asked. After the second round, other teams commented how impressive the Rush team was. After the HSM team won, Robert Silverstein said, “Dana, Mollie, and Sveinn were phenomenal and really have represented Rush and the program in a way that would make everyone so proud. Thanks to everyone who offered advice and guidance along the way to the group, especially Diane Howard.”
Team captain, Dana Stelmokas said, “Participating in the 2012 UAB Case Competition was an invaluable learning experience. Over the course of three-and-a-half weeks, our team, with the assistance of numerous Rush faculty and staff, had the opportunity not only to learn about a complex issue in health care, but also to work together to develop a strategy for solving the problem. It really was a terrific opportunity to apply what we’ve discussed and learned through our coursework to a real-world health care challenge.” Dana, Mollie, and Sveinn’s performance clearly demonstrated the power of practice.
Photo caption: (from top left) HSM 2012 UAB student team: Mollie Pillman, Dana Stelmokas, and Sveinn Sigurdsson. (from bottom left) HSM 2011 NAHSE case competition student team: faculty advisor Diane Howard, Kevin Weng, Sam Bajaj, Jona Somaraju, faculty advisor Alicia Smith and Lakeisha Daniel (HSM '05)


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