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McMaster team dives into 21st century global health problems at case competition in Atlanta

McMaster team at Emory Global Health Case Competition in Atlanta

Front: Angela Lin (BHSC 2nd year), Olivia McGeever (MScGH), Hunster Yang (MScGH), Tanya Tewari (MScGH). Back: Daniel Zhou (BScN 2nd year), Mike Wang (BEng 2nd year)


March 18, 2019

A team of McMaster students participated in this year’s Emory International Global Health Case Competition, which asked teams to address the risk of hurricanes in select coastal nations. MSc Global Health students Hunster Yang, Olivia McGeever and Tonya Tewari, along with Angela Lin (BHSC 2nd year student), Daniel Zhou (BScN 2nd year student), and Mike Wang (BEng 2nd year student) came up with a multi-pronged disaster management and environmental resiliency plan for the Dominican Republic.

Their plan included tech innovations to improve monitoring and alerts for the population, environmental resiliency through reforestation, and community capacity building in disease prevention, water sanitation, and mental health resilience.

Held annually at Emory University in Atlanta, the competition challenges graduate and undergraduate students from multiple schools and disciplines to dive into real-world global health problems and come up with innovative solutions. Students from 30 universities in Australia, Canada, and the United States participated in this year's competition.

“In their own way, MSc Global Health students have already been training to think in this way, having come in to the graduate program from different educational disciplines, and working together on global health projects, from policy analysis, to root cause analysis, to program design and evaluation,” said David Oldenburger, McMaster’s MacGlObas and Global Health Office coordinator, who accompanied the team to Atlanta.

“This was an amazing experience to analyze key issues, process information and innovations from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, and develop a concise articulated plan to stakeholders,” Oldenburger said.

The full case study was released on March 9 – one week prior to the competition. The team then flew to Atlanta to work together for two days to prepare a 15-minute presentation which they delivered a panel of judges. The panel included entrepreneurs in health innovation, educators and administrators in public and global health, disaster preparedness experts, and global health educators.

Last year, McMaster’s team was comprised of students from the MSc Global Health program, as well as graduate programs in engineering and nursing, and won third place overall across 23 teams competing.