MHA students take top prize in Healthcare Case Competition

January 20, 2017 • Uncategorized

MHA ACHE winners photo
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Aman Kaila, Ashnia Taher, ACHE mentor Paul Aslin, Martin Ostensen, Patrick Li, Chelsea Kleen and Shriya Sarin


Problems were immense for a West Coast safety net health system that became the focus of a 2014 Harvard Business Review case study. The system was in financial trouble and had lost its CEO. Operational inefficiencies ran deep, and morale had tanked.

“Imagine the challenge of trying to turn that situation around,” said UNTHSC Assistant Professor Martin Ostensen, JD, MBA, MHA.

Ostensen, who serves as MHA Program Director for the School of Public Health, helped coach a team of five UNTHSC students who took on this challenge, recently winning first place at the annual North Texas American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Case Competition.

The UNTHSC team was given three weeks to develop a written analysis and recommendations, culminating in a presentation to an expert panel of judges.

Team members Dr. Aman Kaila, Chelsea Kleen, Patrick Li, Shriya Sarin and Ashnia Taher first worked through a SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the health system.

From there, they prioritized problems and developed advice for a turnaround plan.

An ACHE mentor, Paul Aslin, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Wise Health Clinics, Wise Health System, counseled the team through the process, as well as Thomas Fairchild, PhD, UNTHSC Vice President for Organizational Excellence.

The students took home awards that included a cash prize, paid registration to ACHE’s 2017 Congress on Healthcare Leadership and an invitation to attend ACHE North Texas Chapter Board meetings for the coming year.