FHA’s second annual Health Administration Case Competition showcases talents and knowledge of undergraduates

Mahum Mujeeb, FHA Secretary, Dipali Patel, FHA Recruitment Chair, and Dhruv Shah, FHA Treasurer, contributed to this article

The Rutgers Future Healthcare Administrators and the Bloustein School held the second annual Case Study Competition on April 6, 2019. The annual competition encourages students to use information learned through coursework and apply that knowledge to real-world scenarios in order to solve problems present in today’s workplaces and communities. This year, more than 80 students comprising over 15 teams participated. The event was sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health, New Bridge Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Health.

“The New Jersey Health Administration Case Competition was an exceptional experience for our students. It allowed them to showcase their leadership, critical thinking and communication skills by providing them with a  real-world healthcare problem-solving experience, said Ann Marie Hill, Associate Professor of Practice and FHA advisor. “We are particularly grateful to our judges and sponsors who made it all possible.”

This year’s case explored the current dynamic landscape of healthcare focusing on mergers and acquisitions of smaller hospitals by larger healthcare networks. The issue was explored through the fictional Solar Healthcare Network acquisition of Star Hospital and the potential acquisition of Beacon Hospital by Marina Health System. Beacon Hospital failed to generate positive cash flow for several years, leading to a couple of expansion options: acquisition by Marina Health or establishing urgent care centers in the next few years, but not both.

The other complexities of the case, such as patient satisfaction rates, and the financials made the problem one to leave participants scratching their heads searching for the best solution to generate positive cash flow for Beacon Hospital once again. After nearly four hours of careful planning, deliberation, and practice, the teams presented great solutions in a confident manner that impressed the judges with their healthcare and business knowledge.

“Students arrived at the competition with nervous faces, but by the end of the day, all were proud with the solutions they created with their team members,” said Dipali Patel FHA Recruitment Chair. “Many students felt challenged having to work on a real-life case, but it was evident that they were prepared with the proper tools and knowledge to be successful. Overall, it was a great way to showcase the talents and abilities of our undergraduate students.”

Lina Saleh, a member of the third place team, talked about what it takes to make a solid team. “Every second counts when that clock begins. As a result, being an organized team ensures time efficiency and increased quality of information. Furthermore, presenting in a confident manner adds spice and secures everything nice and in our case, that was 3rd place.”

The panel of judges were hospital executives from all over New Jersey and included Karteek Bhavsar, Vice President, Administration at The Valley Hospital; Garrick Stoldt, Chief Financial Officer at St. Peter’s Healthcare System; Madeline Tineo, Administrative Associate at St. Joseph’s Health; Thomas Scott, Senior VP & COO at CentraState Healthcare System; Brooke Zacheis, Director of Special Procedures at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; Sharie Gold, Vice President, Quality and Patient/Resident Safety, New Bridge Medical Center; Julie Liston, Executive Director of Ambulatory Care Services, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Kimyatta Washington, Vice President and Director, Clinical Operations – Oncology Services, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health System; Moses Salami, Director, Marketing Communications at Holy Name Medical Center; Anita Franzione, DrPH, MPA, CPH, Assistant Professor at the Bloustein School; and Michael McDonough, FACHE, Associate Professor at the Bloustein School.

“The students that participated in the 2nd Annual Case Study Competition are the future healthcare leaders of tomorrow. With only a few hours to develop a sound business plan each group came together and delivered high-quality work,” said Moses Salami, Director, Marketing Communications at Holy Name Medical Center and one of the competition judges. “This is a true testament of the impact the Bloustein School is having with the students. It was interesting to see each group’s unique approach to solving the same case and not neglect the impact any decision would have on the patient population. The students left that afternoon with invaluable experience and it was an honor to be a judge.”

FHA Secretary Mahum Mujeeb who participated in the first case competition as a student in 2018 and as was one of this year’s organizers, said, “Last year I took part in the case competition and this year I was an organizer. I don’t think people realize how beneficial this case competition can be because as it pushes students to analyze real-life scenarios and then have their solutions critiqued by hospital executives. It is a great event to gain knowledge and learn more about the field that we are getting into. ”

The winning teams were:

FIRST PLACE: Jason Dorr, Andy Ji, Prince Harry Mangondato

SECOND PLACE: Riya Savla, Janvi Patel, Kinjal Shah, Nina Samuel, Ami Patel

THIRD PLACE: Lina Saleh, Cheng-Hsuan Tseng, Nina Paranjpe

Photos by Shreya Agrawal