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Rocky Mountain Public Health Case Competition

Event Date: November 2-3, 2018 

Event Summary

The Rocky Mountain Public Health Case Competition, hosted by the Colorado School of Public Health, is designed to help students across varied disciplines gain experience working in collaborative teams to design innovative solutions to real-world health problems. 

As students leave graduate school, it is important to have gained the skills necessary to work in interdisciplinary teams on incredibly complex issues. The day of the event, students are placed into teams to collaboratively analyze, present, and respond to a presented case. 

Practice-based learning is a critical component to advanced learning and application, and the Case Competition serves as a co-curricular activity that provides participants with an opportunity to continue to enhance competency in their chosen field.


Who Participa​tes 

The Rocky Mountain Public Health Case Competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students across varied disciplines and campuses in Colorado, including: ColoradoSPH (CU Anschutz, CSU, and UNC), the health schools on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and various schools and disciplines at CU Denver and CU Boulder. Each team will be composed of four to six students from a variety of disciplines. In addition, students from at least three different schools will be on a team in order to maximize the diversity of expertise.​

Event Layout

The teams will be given the case on the first day of the competition and will have 24 hours to research and prepare a viable solution. Within the 24 hour period, each team has the option to meet with a faculty or community member for one hour. This provides an opportunity for students to gain an professional opinion about their solution.  

On the final day of the competition, each team presents their solution and recommendations in front of a panel of judges, colleagues, and other audience members; the top four teams progress to a finals round. After the final presentations, an overall winner is announced and a social event is held for competition participants and community members.

Details for the event:

  • Friday Event Check-In for Students
  • Presentations are Due 24-hours later
  • First Round Presentations (all teams present)
  • Finalist/Winner Presentations
  • Community Networking Reception & Announcement of Winners


Goals will be measured by the student Rocky Mountain Case Competition team, the panel of judges, and an official rubric developed collaboratively with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The goal of the competition is to:

  • provide students with real-world experiences to better prepare them to address global and national public health challenges;  

  • connect community members with current students, alumni, and faculty to find potential solutions to a real Colorado health problem, and;

  • give students an opportunity to present results and recommendations to a panel of judges demonstrating their knowledge of public health. 

  1. Synthesis of information under pressure

  2. Prioritization of issues

  3. Recognition of and working within resource constraints 

  4. Working within multidisciplinary teams 

  5. Integration of  various perspectives and methods 

  6. Applying evidence based decision-making skills to state, regional, national, and global public health problems

Past Competitions 

2017 Case Competition​
The 2017 competition focused on suicide awareness and prevention. Fitting for Veterans Day, the winning team's focus was on veteran suicide prevention with a project title of “Serve and Support: You Stood for Us, Now Let Us Stand for You.” 

2016 Case Competition
The 2016 competition focused on opioid addiction and abuse in Colorado. Students competed to identify innovative solutions to address the epidemic. The judging panel for the final round included Dr. Robert Valuck, a professor in the CU School of Pharmacy and Director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk, State Senator Jim Smallwood, and State Senator Dominick Moreno. 

In November 2015, students tackled the topic of healthy aging and maximizing independence in Colorado’s aging population. The event included health students from Rocky Vista University, as well as public health certificate students from the University of Colorado Boulder. 

It was determined that fall semester was the optimal time for students across many schools to participate in the competition, and Fall 2014 marked the first time the annual Public Health Case Competition became an interdisciplinary event. The competition, with a topic focused on pediatric and adolescent consumption of marijuana, drew participants from around Colorado. 

April 2014 was both the inaugural year for the ColoradoSPH's Public Health Case Competition and marked the start of National Public Health Week on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The topic was focused around raising awareness about and increasing participation in vaccinations and immunizations throughout the state of Colorado.  

How to Donate

You can support the Rocky Mountain Public Health Case Competition Fund via the  University of Colorado Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, with the tax-ID 84-6049811. All donations will be allocated toward a student scholarship fund.

  1. Visit​ and search for “Colorado School of Public Health Case Competition Fund.” This will prompt a screen where you can enter your information and donation amount.
  2. Make a check out to “University of Colorado Foundation” with “Case Competition” in the memo line. The checks can be mailed to Marshall Ward, Accounting and Finance Manager for the Colorado School of Public Health. His contact information is listed below.​
  3. Contact Information:

           Marshall Ward, CPA
           Accounting and Finance Manager
           Colorado School of Public Health
           13001 E. 17th Place B119
           Aurora, CO 80045

*All sponsors will receive a letter from the University of Colorado Foundation for tax purposes.

Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045



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