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UNC students win national competition in health care collaboration

A team of four UNC students from different health care-related fields has won the 2015 CLARION National Case Competition, a student competition focused on improving health care through interprofessional collaboration. The victory is especially significant given that this is only the second year that UNC has been represented at the national competition, which has been held annually since 2005.

“I am so proud of our students and encouraged by their commitment to improving quality of care for their patients,” said Carol F. Durham, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN clinical professor in the UNC School of Nursing. “I believe this competition is seeding in the next generation of health care providers the skills they will need to be a part of the solutions needed to reform our health care system—including interprofessional collaboration.”

Tackling systemic challenges

The UNC team included, from left, Samantha Cooperstein, Courtney Canter, Lesley Peters and Wen Lin. The UNC team included, from left, Samantha Cooperstein, Courtney Canter, Lesley Peters and Wen Lin.

The CLARION National Case Competition, run by a University of Minnesota student organization, challenges students to consider systemic ways to increase patient safety. This year’s competition focused on stroke, which is the fourth leading cause of death for adults in the United States and a significant contributor to disability among those who survive.

Each team consists of four students who together represent at least two medically-related disciplines such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health or other fields. Teams were given a case-based challenge and had several weeks to conduct a root cause analysis. In their analysis, teams were asked to create a vision for improving the patient experience, the health of the population and the affordability of care related to stroke in a fictitious health care network.

At the competition’s culmination, each team presented their findings and recommendations to a panel of judges, who evaluated the analysis in the context of real-world standards of practice.

The winning UNC team included medical student Courtney Canter, nursing student Lesley Peters, Master of Healthcare Administration/Master of Business Administration student Wen Lin and Master of Healthcare Administration student Samantha Cooperstein. The team prepared for the competition by conducting research, collaborating during numerous team meetings and meeting with an interdisciplinary team of UNC faculty advisors, healthcare practitioners and student mentors from January through April. Read more…