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Multi-disciplinary Team is Tops in Global Health Competition

Monday, April 7, 2014

A multi-disciplinary team of students from UTA, UT Southwestern and UT Dallas won first place in the Global Health competition at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University March 31.

Students from UTA, UTSW, and UTD won the Emory University Global Health Case CompetitionMichael Stringer, a mechanical engineering senior, was the UT Arlington team member. The worldwide competition drew students from 24 universities across the United States, Australia, Canada and Sweden. Teams are given a case question at the beginning of the competition. "I feel that as a team, we accomplished far more then what we were expecting," Stringer said. "The amount of information that we all learned from each other, through the discussion of the problem and implementation of our solution was astonishing." 

Throughout one week, and culminating in an all-hands weekend event on the Emory campus in Atlanta, team members brainstorm on solutions to the question and formulate a presentation.This year’s case asked teams to develop organizational strategies for the World Health Organization to ensure it successfully meets emerging 21st century health challenges.This was the North Texas team’s first year to compete. It beat out Johns Hopkins University to win first place, which came with a $6,000 cash award.

Other teams were from Yale University, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and the University of Southern California.

Raul Fernandez, professor in practice in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and team sponsor, said he was amazed the team gelled so well and so quickly. He said among the team’s contributions were rebalancing the role of WHO regional offices in favor of "boots-on-the-ground" non-governmental entities, and employing manufacturing-inspired quality systems to fight disease safely and effectively.