Bloustein team reaches semi-finals of Penn State MHA Case Competition

A team of first-year Master of Health Administration students — Naren Gopal, Rajisha Shah, and Fiorella Vera – represented the Bloustein School at the third annual Penn State Health Administration Case Competition for First Year MHA students.

More than 40 teams from 19 universities competed from Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, October 31. The event was hosted by Penn State’s Master of Health Administration program and sponsored by Geisinger. The competition was also supported by business consulting and advisory executive Christopher Speer, an alumnus of the program.

“This competition is one of the most reputed ones in the country designed specifically for First Year MHA students,” said team member Rajisha Shah. “It is also one of the most rigorous competitions since we had to come up with a solution within 24 hours. Our case was to create an innovative strategy to increase telehealth services in the Geisinger Managed Care community.”

Along with a solution, it was also necessary to have a high-level professional presentation to present the solutions and recommendations before a panel of judges who evaluated each analysis as it applies to real-world standards of practice. “Given the nature of the competition, it was a great challenge to have everything done in a short period of time. In the end, it was a rewarding and unforgettable experience. We were thrilled to qualify as one of six semi-finalists among the 24 participating teams,” the team said.

“We are delighted to see our students performing well in these healthcare care case competitions,” added assistant professor Soumitra Bhuyan, Ph.D., who serves as coach of the Rutgers MHA case competition teams. “They are great opportunities for students to exchange ideas with their peers as well as network with healthcare professionals from around the country.”

One of the biggest challenges the team faced was to work together after having just been introduced to their teammates. “It made us realize our competencies and what each one of us is good at. It taught us to respect every opinion and incorporate it into our plan for the case. We bonded as a team and certainly look forward to working again together.”

“The competition tested how quickly we can think to our feet and We are grateful for the guidance from our coach Professor Soumitra Bhuyan and are looking forward to more such opportunities in the future.”

For more information about the Rutgers Master of Health Administration at the Bloustein School, visit