Web Accessibility Support

Howard University Wins Grand Prize at 2017 D.C. Public Health Case Challenge

Howard University Wins Grand Prize at 2017 D.C. Public Health Case Challenge


WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 29, 2017) – A six-member team from Howard University won the fifth annual D.C. Public Health Case Challenge Grand Prize at the D.C. Public Health Case Challenge last month.

The challenge aims to promote interdisciplinary, problem-based learning around a public health issue of importance to the local Washington, D.C. community. The 2017 Case Challenge topic was “Lead and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Neurological and Behavioral Consequences for Youth in the District of Columbia.” The student teams were asked to develop a solution to this complex problem with a hypothetical $2.5 million budget.

The 2017 Grand Prize winner was the Howard University team. Team members Mark Lorthe, Nancy Alexis, Nicole McLean, Camille Robinson, Johnothan Smileye, and Tahirah Williams proposed a solution titled “CATCH: Communities Advancing Through Child Health.” 

“It was a very beneficial experience,” said McLean, a second-year Howard University College of Medicine student. “We are all from different disciples. Three of us are from medical school and the other three are undergraduates who provided a mix from allied health, nursing, and biology. Our different viewpoints were beneficial in helping us win.”

The team offered a multi-faceted and multi-level intervention. Their proposal involved providing staff training and certification opportunities to unlicensed child care providers and supporting parents as an entry point for tackling the problem. Their proposal also linked families to legal aid for rental housing lead issues, and called for summertime events to engage and educate the community.

The competition included teams from American University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and others. Each university formed teams consisting of five to six members from at least three disciplines. Teams were presented with a case, written by an independent team of students from the participating universities, that provides background information on a local public health problem.

Teams were given two weeks to devise a comprehensive intervention, which they presented to an expert panel of judges. Teams were judged on the interdisciplinary nature of their response, feasibility of implementation, creativity, and practicality.

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.  For more information on Howard University, please visit www.howard.edu.