UIW MHA Program | Master of Health Administration

Clarion Case Competition | Master of Health Administration

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CLARION Case Competition is just one of UIW's healthcare interprofessional educational opportunities! Please check back for news on our future competitions. Read below to learn more about this amazing opportunity and to view pictures of previous competitions.



About the CLARION Case Competition

UIW held its first annual CLARION Case Competition in February 2014, where teams consisting of four students, comprised of at least two different health professions competed by presenting their solutions to a situation involving a very realistic and complicated organizational medical error. The written CLARION case is prepared by health professionals at the University of Minnesota (UM) and HealthPartners, Inc. and while the case study is fabricated/fictitious, the scenarios depicted are unfortunately very common. UM not only holds their own internal annual CLARION competition, but they also host a national level competition. The CLARION National Case Competition is held each year in April in Minneapolis, MN. The top three winning teams in the National Interprofessional Case Competition win the Premier Richard Norling Scholarship Awards: 1st place $7,500 team scholarship, 2nd place $5,000 team scholarship, and 3rd place $2,500 team scholarship.

UIW students use the UM CLARION case study in our local competition, which will be held on February 27, 2015. Student teams will be charged with evaluating the case study situation using a variety of skills and tools, including conducting a root cause analysis. The teams will then present their analysis to a panel of interprofessional healthcare practitioners and leaders from our local community here in San Antonio. The judges will evaluate the student teams’ presentations, analyses and recommendations in the context of real world standards of practice. The winning team is then sent on a funded trip to MN to compete in the National competition.

To participate, students must be enrolled full-time in one of the UIW health profession programs leading to a degree in one of the following areas: Health Administration, Nursing, Nutrition, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, or Psychology. Please note, however, that participation of undergraduate students is limited to only Juniors and Seniors due to the national competition requirements. Additionally, students must commit to completing some on-line educational material and attend one to two short workshops. UIW’s CLARION Case Competition is typically at the end of February each year.

Students will be required to meet with their teams on a regular basis to analyze the case, compile the presentation, and practice for their presentation. The official CLARION case is typically released towards the end of January, so the majority of the team work will occur during the Spring semester (first term). Mentors from the various health professions are available to each team to assist them with technical expertise; however, the mentors cannot provide direction on how to solve the case issues. For example, if the student team decides they need to conduct a break-even analysis (a financial tool), they can ask for training on how to do that, but the mentor cannot advise them on what tools they should use.

Additional information and background, including previous CLARION cases can be found on UM’s official CLARION website at

Stay tuned for future updates.



Did You Know?

1. Did you know that UIW has opportunities for interprofessional education and collaboration among our UIW health profession programs? This is one way we are trying to prepare our students to make a difference in the healthcare system once they graduate.

2. What is interprofessional collaboration in the healthcare field? Interprofessional collaboration can occur when a diverse group of health professionals, typically from two or more professions, come together to collaborate with the patient to develop a care plan and to improve that patient’s health. Each profession makes their own unique contribution from within their scope of practice toward achieving this common goal — better health for the patient – while learning from each other on how best to care for the patient.

3. What is CLARION? The word CLARION signifies a ‘call to action’—a clear and compelling directive to take action for a cause. The cause behind the CLARION Case Competition is to provide patients with safe and high quality healthcare. According to the Institute of Medicine Report (2000), over 98,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors. Miscommunication and lack of communication among caregivers are cited as the primary causes of the problem. Recently, the Institute of Medicine identified academic curriculum as a critical contributor to current and future healthcare.



2013-2014 CLARION Case Competition Pictures

In April 2014, our UIW CLARION Case Competition winners competed at Nationals and represented us superbly!

UIW Winners

From left to right: Kimberly Smith (MHA student), Jan Ramos (Pharmacy student), and Amber Ferrand (Physical therapy student)

The first annual UIW CLARION Case Competition was a SUCCESS! Three teams presented Friday evening, February 28th, to a large audience and four distinguished judges from the San Antonio healthcare community. The competition was tough. Each team had excellent recommendations to improve the delivery of care for patients with congestive heart failure, but only one team could win. The winning team members were Jan Ramos from the School of Pharmacy and Amber Ferrand from the School of Physical Therapy. This team will now move on to compete in the national competition at the University of Minnesota in April. We wish them all the best as they go forward to represent UIW!

Winning Team with Judges

Clarion Winners and Judges

From left to right: Dr. Nguyen, Dr. Raimondo, Jan Ramos (student), Amber Ferrand (student), ... Mr. Cowart, and Dr. Martindale

A Big Thank You to Our Judges

  • Jeff Cowart, Partner at Barlow/McCarthy Hospital-Physician Solutions and previous Senior Vice President, Growth & Sales at Baptist Health System, Vanguard Health Systems, San Antonio, TX
  • Justin Martindale, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, FAAOMPTPresident of Promotion Physical Therapy and Member of the Clinical Faculty for the Manual Therapy Institute, San Antonio, TX
  • Son Nguyen, M.D., Family Medicine Physician at WellMed, San Antonio, TX
  • John Raimondo, Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, CEO and Clinic Director of Laredo Spine Medical Center and San Antonio Spine & Rehabilitation and CEO and Founder of Pulmonair, San Antonio, TX

Winning Team and CLARION Grant Co-Investigators

Winning Team Clarion Grant

From Left to Right: Dr. Chris Garcia (Business School-MHA Faculty), Dr. Amy Crocker (Physical Therapy Faculty), Amber Ferrand (Physical Therapy student), Jan Ramos (Pharmacy student) and Dr. Blair Sarbacker (Pharmacy Faculty)

These pictures are of students and faculty from the Feik School of Pharmacy, HEB School of Business and Administration’s Masters of Health Administration program, IIa Faye Miller School of Nursing, and the Physical Therapy School. They are participating in team building exercises at a local ROPES Course as part of their CLARION team building experience.


How hard can it be to pick up a pole anyway? You'd be surprised.....they were!

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