South Florida Hospital News
Wednesday April 14, 2021

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July 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 1


SFHEF Case Competition Highlights Students’ Skill Sets

For the past 15 years, the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum (SFHEF) has been enabling students to learn more about how the industry works by providing them with a real-life opportunity to delve into a healthcare case study. While top teams win monetary prizes, the benefits extend far beyond that award.

“The 2018 SFHEF Healthcare Leader Development Case Competition offered students a wonderful opportunity to showcase their learnings by analyzing a real-life case study and presenting their findings to executive judges who are leaders for major healthcare organizations,” explained SFHEF President Adrian Parker, FACHE. “The presentations took place in front of a variety of healthcare professionals from the business community and could lead to potential employment opportunities for students.”
The competition is part of the Student Services component of the SFHEF, which also provides scholarships, assists with internships, and ensures access to career development services and mentoring programs. Students can also access a list of fellowship and residency programs and other useful educational resources from the American College of Health Executives’ (ACHE) national level.
According to SFHEF Student Services Chair Oyinkansola “Bukky” Ogunrinde, MHSA, CPMHP, the case competition is a rigorous undertaking. Schools are invited to identify three- to five-member teams, who are then given a roughly 30-page case study that focuses on the types of situations hospitals may face. This year’s case centered on the Mayo Clinic: 2020 Initiative.
“The case takes the students’ whole spring semester, so they have to juggle it with schoolwork, which is very challenging,” said Ogunrinde. “They spend this time connecting with liaisons, who help to facilitate their requests and address issues as they navigate the case, and with mentors, who are professionals in the areas that the case addresses. The mentors provide direction and insight.”
In April, each team of students gave a 20-minute presentation showcasing what they learned about the case and giving their recommendations. This was followed by a 10-minute question and answer session.
This year, undergraduate teams from four schools participated, with the University of Miami taking first place, Indian River State College taking second, Florida International University taking third, and Florida Atlantic University taking fourth. First-place by a graduate team was earned by Florida International University, with Barry University taking second. Prizes ranged from $1,000 awarded to the first-place team to $50 per participant for the fourth-place team. Participants are also recognized at the SFHEF’s annual installation dinner, which is attended by approximately 200 health care executives, and are also written up in the organization’s newsletter.
Participating in the case competition can benefit students long after the event is over. “We are working on an initiative to get hospitals to recognize the case competition as an important part of a candidate’s profile,” said Ogunrinde. “Not only does it require a large time commitment, but it also showcases a student’s leadership skills in healthcare, as well as their ability to address healthcare issues in a systematic way. It also demonstrates their professionalism in communication and relationships—that’s a useful skill set for today’s leaders in healthcare.”
In order to provide more students with the opportunity to become involved in the case competition, SFHEF recently formed a 501c3 foundation. “There’s a lot of interest and excitement from organizations to support the continuing education efforts of SFHEF for both students and professionals alike; creating the foundation offers a channel for organizations to contribute to our professional development efforts,” explained Parker.
“We’re really excited about how the case competition has evolved,” he added. “This year, we had a total of six teams between both undergraduate and graduate levels, and we expect participation to grow substantially in the coming year.”
2018 Case Competition Judges:
Mark Dissette, Senior Vice President & Administrator, HealthPlex, Holy Cross Hospital
Ela C. Lena, CEO/COO, Bethesda Hospital East, Baptist Health South Florida
Shkelzen Hoxhaj, MD, CMO, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Chinwe Osuagwu, CEO & Leadership Coach, TrustedTeams

To learn more about SFHEF, visit or call (954) 964-1660.

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