By guest blogger Eleanor Burgess
Few settings are more suited for developing Global Health solutions than Emory University, and the Northwestern team made the most of our experience there at the 2015 International Global Health Case Competition. The cherry trees were in full bloom, and petals fell softly through the air as all 24 teams from the United States, Denmark, and Australia walked from our tour of the CDC to our Friday workday locations. We experienced a taste of the South, enjoying biscuits and grits for breakfast, and Southern comfort food for dinner including baked beans, pulled pork, banana pudding and of course lots of sweet tea.
The case stretched us to the limit: we had only a week to solve the pervasive problem of Gun Violence in Honduras.This interesting case was outside of our medical experiences, but ultimately allowed us to dive into the difficult social, economic, and health situation in Honduras. Our solution targeted new gang-member recruitment in Honduras to stop the vicious cycle of violence. We proposed a multi-pronged solution, and our Saturday morning presentation was selected as one of the four final round presentations! Myself and my all-girl team of four intelligent ladies, Katie Kunstman, Kori Cooper, Shweta Hosakoppal, and Marine Coste, presented our final round solution to a huge room full of all the other teams and a panel of eight judges. After our presentation, we had to think quickly on our feet to answer the judges’ tough questions to the best of our knowledge and ability.
After a reception spent networking with fellow participants, we found out we had been awarded fourth place and that we had won some money for our efforts. This experience was intense, occasionally stressful, and exciting throughout the process. I am glad that I had this opportunity, and I thank Northwestern for covering the flight costs so my whole team could compete in this intellectual and extremely interesting competition. I wish good luck to next year’s Northwestern team participants.