Campus News

Office of Global Health Initiatives’ Global Health Case Competition Tackles Climate Change and Hurricanes

A team of UK students created strategies addressing a global health issue and presented it to a panel of judges. This winning team will represent UK at the International Global Health Case Competition in Atlanta next year.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2021) — On Nov. 6, 2021, interprofessional student teams representing 12 University of Kentucky colleges, Lincoln Memorial University and the University of Louisville, competed in the annual Global Health Case Competition, with a focus on implementing hurricane disaster preparedness strategies in a changing global climate.

The competition was hosted on UK’s campus and held virtually by the UK International Center’s Office of Global Health Initiatives, whose mission is to promote an area for study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.

“The teams really worked together to bring comprehensive and exciting plans together in a short period of time,” said Melody Ryan, PharmD, MPH, assistant provost for UK’s Office of Global Health Initiatives. “I think they learned a lot about the complexities of global health problems and the benefits of working with different professions.”

During competition week, teams of undergraduates, graduates and professional students are challenged to create strategies addressing a global health issue and present their plans to a panel of judges. The winning team will represent UK at the International Global Health Case Competition, hosted by Emory University in Atlanta in 2022.

Global Health Case Competition Team 6 took the $1,500 prize, with a high level of interdisciplinary cohesiveness and innovative solutions. Their strategy, titled “Pilipinas Malakas,” is a creation of a cyclone disaster preparedness plan.

“It was really helpful to have a team with completely different past experiences and specializations,” said Emma Hague, a freshman in the College of Public Health and member of Team 6. “Each of us gravitated toward a certain piece of the project which we were then able to compile into a single succinct and well-rounded solution.”

Fellow team member Caleb Chaudry, a junior studying marketing, came away with a better understanding of how to create change.

“It’s clear we all have a drive to make the world a better place,” Chaudry said. “I learned that in order to make a change, it’s best to start local; get the communities involved and you’ll have all the help you’ll ever need.”

Team 6 members are:

  • Caleb Chaudry – Gatton College of Business and Economics       
  • Emma Hague – College of Public Health
  • Morgan Mahone (team captain) – College of Social Work
  • Evelyn Mickschl – College of Communication and Information
  • Tran Nguyen – College of Pharmacy, Gatton College of Business and Economics

Team 7 took second place with their strategy of, “One Community, One Country, One Climate.” Team 7 members are:

  • Noah Clements – College of Medicine
  • Anna Dong – College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
  • Sasha Sairajeev (team captain) – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Matthew Sepulveda – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Hanna Shoaf – Lincoln Memorial University

Team 2 took third place with its presentation, “Global Stewards: Climate Impact Institute.” Team 2 members are:

  • Mary Winifred Edom – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Abby Knoy – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Ojaswi Piya – College of Nursing
  • Farhad Shahidi – Gatton College of Business and Economics

For more information about Global Health Initiatives, contact Craig Borie, Global Health Initiative program manager, at craig.borie@uky.edu.

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