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Baruch College Team Places in the Top 6 of Health Administration Case Competition


Jahnhoy Smith, Steve Palatucci, Nicole DeGroat

NEW YORK, NY - March 13, 2013   Baruch College graduate students finished in the top 6 in the nation during the 7th Annual Health Administration Case Competition held on February 28, in Birmingham, Ala., beating out several other well-renowned universities and colleges. The Baruch team included third-year students from the MBA in Healthcare Administration Program in the Zicklin School of Business - Steve Palatucci of Hoboken (team captain), Jahnhoy Smith of Brooklyn, and Nicole DeGroat of White Plains.

The University of Alabama Birmingham Health System has sponsored the Health Administration Case Competition since 2007. The competition provides students with the opportunity to present their recommendations to a national panel of judges. It is designed to be a capstone experience that tests each team’s analytic, teamwork, communication and presentation skills.

This year, 32 teams from national universities and colleges competed. Steve, Jahnhoy and Nicole each spent between 125-150 hours analyzing the case brief that was delivered to teams four weeks before the competition. The 2013 case challenged teams with developing several urgent care centers in Middle, Tenn., as part of the TriStar Health System. Each team had to develop a 20-minute pitch using PowerPoint to present their strategic approaches to achieving each of the case’s articulated deliverables.

Steve said he and his teammates, who all work full-time, were able to effectively collaborate by utilizing each other’s areas of expertise and strengths. Steve is a business analyst at Memorial Sloan-Kettering; Jahnhoy is a Medicare operations manager with the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation/MetroPlus Health Plan; and Nicole is a grants specialist at Montefiore Medical Center.

"I was honored to represent Baruch,” Nicole said. “I am very proud of my team as we were recognized by our peers and so many illustrious industry members for the work we put in and the quality of our ideas."

“Each of us possess different backgrounds and expertise, but were able to combine our unique strengths to our advantage,” Steve said. “Given the complexity and level of research needed for the case, managing our time was the primary challenge, but I think we worked very well as a team. We had the perfect balance of expertise and were able to create innovative, viable recommendations for TriStar.”

For the case competition, Jahnhoy developed a marketing plan and applied his expertise in Medicare/Medicaid programs. Nicole developed a sophisticated methodology for establishing urgent care centers, and Steve created a financial and operational plan, providing projections for the cost of staffing, equipment and other essentials business variables. The team’s analysis examined demographics in Middle, Tenn., including economic conditions, local competitors, population growth, insurance payor mix, and marketing opportunities.



About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to

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