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Four CMU students win nation's first health administration case competition


Olivia Arends, Catherine Young, Kyle Cahmberlain and Kayla Pang pose at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Four Central Michigan University students competed in the nation's first health administration case competition. 

The team took first place at the Oct. 17-18 competition against 14 other universities at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

"We were accepting our defeat until they called Central Michigan University and then we were just in shock," said Traverse City senior and team captain Catherine Young. "It took all of us a minute before we went up to the stage to accept our award because we were in such disbelief we didn't think it was really happening."

The team won a $1,000 check, which they will be putting toward their travel expenses from the trip.

The team consisted of three other students: Grand Haven senior Kyle Chamberlain and Mount Pleasant seniors Kayla Pang and Olivia Arends. 

"Our team was selected by our department," Young said. "All of us were on the executive board for the Collegiate Health Administration Preparatory Society for 2018-2019, so they were familiar with our work ethic and knew we would work well together as a team."

After spending more than three hours a day for a month creating a presentation, Arends said they had the presentation memorized.

"We developed a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation discussing Telestroke services in South Carolina," Young said. "We were given a prompt, fictitious data, and a hypothetical $800,000 grant to be allocated across the network."

Each university had to present in the morning, and during lunch, the four finalists were announced. The finalists had to compete again in the afternoon.

"We then presented inside of an auditorium to a panel of 5 judges – CEOs, presidents, doctors, etc. as well as the other teams who did not advance to the final round," Arends said. "We have never presented to that big of an audience before so it was definitely nerve-wracking, but we felt like we crushed the presentation as the judges didn't have many questions for us and none of us made any errors."

After the finalists presented, the winners were announced. Young said her favorite part was getting to take pictures with a big $1,000 check for first prize.

"We all put the case work above everything else in our lives, so to have that weight lifted off of your shoulders and be told that we won first place was unbelievable."