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2014 Global Health Case Competition

Posted by on Monday, March 10, 2014 in Academics, News Posts.

In the 2014 Global Health Case Competition, teams proposed solutions to address road traffic injuries in urban Vietnam

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s Student Advisory Council hosted its fourth annual Global Health Case Competition from February 5-8, 2014. Over one hundred participants making up nearly twenty multidisciplinary teams competed in this three-day event.  Teams were composed of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from nine Vanderbilt schools and Meharry Medical College. From Wednesday to Saturday, students from diverse backgrounds and fields of study joined forces to take on a public health challenge of global proportions.

The case prompted teams to design a social enterprise aimed at improving road traffic safety in urban Vietnam. This topic was unveiled to participants on Wednesday evening, when two speakers provided contextual information about Vietnam and advice for developing a social enterprise. Ben Tran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and English in the College of Arts and Science, spoke at length about the gravity and complexity of traffic safety in Ho Chi Minh City. Students learned of the weak adherence to safety regulations in this dense urban area with particularly dangerous road conditions. Afterwards, Roger Sweis, MBA, founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, The Wheelhouse Project, encouraged teams to consider non-traditional solutions for global health financing that generate self-sustaining funding streams.

After learning the details of the case, teams had 72 hours to plan, organize, and craft a proposal to address this pressing global health issue. On Saturday afternoon, teams presented their ideas to a distinguished panel of judges, which included nine faculty and community members representing a wide range of expertise and interdisciplinary knowledge: Douglas Heimburger, M.D., M.S., Martha Jones, Ph.D., M.P.A., Amina Merchant, M.D., Troy Moon, M.D., M.P.H., Jim Schorr, MBA, Roger Sweis, MBA. Chay Sengkhounmany, J.D., Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D., and Bahr Weiss, Ph.D.

The teams’ solutions were judged based on strategy, efficient use of data, specificity and feasibility toward the given case, delivery, and innovation. First place and a $1,200 prize was awarded to the presentation entitled, “Creating a Culture of Road Safety: Ho Chi Minh City” by a team composed of:

  • Jiun-Ruey Hu, M.D. candidate, 2017
  • Irène Mathieu, M.D. candidate, 2015
  • Elizabeth Murphy, M.P.H. candidate (Global Health), 2014
  • Hemant Nelaparthi, MBA candidate, 2014
  • Ellen Page, MBA candidate, 2015
  • Saad Tamman, M.A. candidate (Economic Development), 2014

These students will represent Vanderbilt University at the International Emory Global Health Case Competition on March 29, 2014 in Atlanta, GA, where they will compete against 23 universities from around the world to tackle a new case topic.

The Vanderbilt Global Health Case Competition was developed and coordinated by members of the Institute for Global Health’s Student Advisory Council. The following sponsors played an integral role in the production of the event:

Commodore Level:

The Graduate Student Council

The Wheelhouse Project

VU School of Medicine

VU School of Nursing

VU Owen Graduate School of Management

The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons



Anchor Level:

The Vanderbilt Student Government

VU Center for Latin American Studies

VU Center for Medicine, Health, and Society

VU Peabody College of Education and Human Development

The Princeton Review


Gold Level:

Pizza Perfect

Kay Bob’s Grill & Ale

VU International Student and Scholar Services

VU Global Education Office

Peabody Graduate Student Association

Nothing Bundt Cakes


Acorn Level:

Miss Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant

Far East Nashville Vietnamese Restaurant

Mellow Mushroom

Dunkin’ Donuts

Starbucks Coffee

Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt

VU Advanced Degree Consulting Club

VU Asian Studies Program

VU Center for Student Professional Development

VU Institute for Global Health

VU Student Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations

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