“In light of the historic economic meltdown, which has had a disparaging effect on both hospitals and hospital credit systems, we request students analyze a community hospital and identify two programs they propose to expand or eliminate.”
Offered that challenge, graduate students from Florida International University (FIU) emerged as winners of the 4th annual South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum’s (SFHEF) student case competition, with a $1,000 first-place award.
“Previously we used case studies from Harvard or Babson, but this year we took the experience further by having participants address an actual situation,” said Barbara Perez-Deppman (BS ’00), SFHEF case competition chair, who competed the first year and served as a mentor in 2010. “Also, they learned the Medi-Dat system, an online business intelligence program for executives, which deepened their understanding of business development and strategy.”
Shandi Brito (BA ’08), Guy Cayo (BBA ’07), and Stephanie Pena (BS ’07) presented, with Melissa Marmanillo (BA ’08), Shaista Mohmand, Jennifer Nimmo (IMBA ’07) and Natalie Sosa (BS ’08) rounding out the team.
“I was pleased that the students had an opportunity to research a ‘real-life’ situation that many hospitals and other healthcare organizations struggle with in their strategic planning,” said Nancy Borkowski, director, Healthcare Management Programs, Chapman Graduate School, who served as faculty advisor.
Students take away healthy respect for the experience.
Brito found that “working with our CEO and the Medi-Dat system allowed us to experience executive level strategic thinking, giving us a glimpse of what our futures as healthcare managers will entail.”
“The case competition meant an opportunity to experience what teamwork and collectivity is about,” Cayo said. “It helped us to rely on, support and believe in each other.”
“Aside from the specific objectives for this case, once you know how to work in a team with such different views, it is easy to get any task accomplished,” she said.
For Nimmo, the experience “was a great opportunity to apply the knowledge I have acquired at FIU to real issues faced by a healthcare organization,” while Mohammed appreciated getting “a taste of what to expect when I step into the position I will be pursuing,” and Marmanillo realized that “planning is key to an organization’s success.”