MHA Students Compete Nationally in Case Competitions


The College of Public Health Master of Health Administration (MHA) program sent students to two high-profile case competitions in recent months where they were challenged to develop the best solution to a health care related case study.  

MHA program director Julie Robbins describes the importance of case competitions both to student development and the program’s reputation.

“Case competitions give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom to solve “real life” health care problems, present executive-level recommendations, and interact with health care leaders and colleagues from around the country.  For the program, these competitions are an excellent external benchmark in which our students’ success demonstrates the high quality of our students and program relative to other top programs around the country.”   

A three-person team consisting of Amanda Masciarelli, Nick Mills and Sarah Beinkampen placed third at the invitation-only Baylor University Robbins Case Competition in Texas. Rather than preparing the case in advance, the students were given the case the morning of the competition and spent the day preparing. This new format challenged the students to prioritize, work effectively as a team, and think quickly on their feet. 

“While most competitions occur over the course of a few weeks or few days, Baylor's case competition provided a unique experience,” said Masciarelli. “We received the case on Thursday morning, had a period of time to read through the case and ask questions, then had only until 11 p.m. Thursday night to do our research, propose our recommendations, analyze and forecast the financials and create and submit our PowerPoint. It was a mad rush at 11 p.m. - all the teams were running down the hall to turn in the flash drives with their presentations. Presentations from all of the teams followed on Friday morning with finalist presentations taking place during the afternoon.”

MHA students Rachelle Barr, Wilkister Tangasi, Jessie Sun and alternate, Ivory Patterson competed in the NAHSE Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition in Las Vegas. Each team was charged with developing a plan to lobby the California state government and other key stakeholders to support implementation of a new integrated model of mental health care developed by the team.  The teams were judged by senior health system leaders from around the country.

“Participating in the NAHSE Case Competition was very challenging but rewarding,” said Tangasi. “The competition itself is a fast-paced, high stakes environment in which you are part of a team working towards solving a real-world healthcare scenario. Ultimately, NAHSE was a fun way to develop transferable skills including leadership, analytical, presentation, and strategic thinking which will be vital for when I graduate and begin my career.”

“As always, this case competition was an excellent experience from start to finish,” said MHA Program Director, Julie Robbins. “For our students, one of the highlights was connecting with our growing NAHSE Buckeye alumni network which included Jessica Jolley ‘13 and Isaac Aziramubera ‘14 who are both on the case competition committee, LaTesha Montgomery ’03 who served as an executive judge, Anton Johnson ’16 who volunteered for the event, Tamara Durr ‘13, and Paula Silverman ’16 who were in attendance at the conference.   


About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College’s divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 19th among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, and also includes the top 10-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES), Center for Public Health Practice, and the NCI-funded Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science (CERTS).