Students Recognized for Innovation at International Competition

In a conference room in the Price Center/Block Research Pavilion, students from a six-member team that had represented Yeshiva University at the third International Emory Global Health Case Competition (EGHCC), hosted by the Emory Global Health Institute, recently shared their experience with this year's challenge—developing recommendations for organizational and strategic reforms to the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to improve its impact on global health.

"We identified four major areas for the WHO to make improvements," noted Lucas Consumano, one of three Einstein medical students to take part in the event that is held each March in Atlanta. "We suggested that they should address the lack of accountability of WHO's regional organizations, its ineffective internal evaluation system, its overlapping of goals with other global health bodies and a burdensome bureaucracy."

As a solution to these issues, the students suggested delineation of specific targets for the regional players, appointing an Inspector General to oversee the evaluation process and creating a comprehensive database with information from all existing health organizations.

"A lot of solutions required a political component," noted Liz Dupont, another of the medical students in the group. "That made the case more complex than we had anticipated."

For their efforts and ingenuity, the team was selected as a semi-finalist for the competition's Innovation Award by a panel of judges consisting of WHO experts and global health leaders from nongovernmental organizations and governmental agencies.

In all, the annual event hosted 24 multidisciplinary teams from Australia, Canada, Sweden and across the United States. "The experience provides an invaluable learning opportunity for students who want to pursue a career in global health by presenting them with real-life challenges," noted Jill Raufman, program manager of Einstein's Global Health Center, who assembled the six students that included Mr. Consumano, Ms. Dupont and fellow medical student Sunita Sridhar, along with MPH candidate Brian Schwartz, Cardozo law student Abigail Schuster and Yeshiva undergraduate business student Aaron Robinow. "Our students have made their presence felt each year they've gone."

"We got to experience the different aspects that go into solving a global health problem firsthand," noted Mr. Consumano.

"The competition offered us a unique opportunity to work with people from different specializations and professions, which allowed us to consider various perspectives for approaching a problem," added Ms. Dupont.

"It was great meeting students from other schools who were passionate about the same issues as us, particularly global health," observed Ms. Sridhar. "And being able to take part in the competition truly opened my eyes to the scale of problems in global health. It was an amazing experience all around."

The team discusses possible strategies
The team discusses possible strategies
Conferring over details
Conferring over details
Representing the group (from left) Elizabeth Dupont, Sunita Sridhar and Lucas Cusumano pose with Jill Raufman, manager of the Global Health Center, after sharing their experiences during a special global health seminar
Representing the group (from left) Elizabeth Dupont, Sunita Sridhar and Lucas Cusumano pose with Jill Raufman, manager of the Global Health Center, after sharing their experiences during a special global health seminar
 

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