FAU Health Admin Students Win 3rd Place at ACHE-SFL Case Competition

By Jennifer Attonito | 05/03/2024

Tags: Bulletins | Health-Administration | Management
Categories: Academics | Accolades | Announcements | Faculty/Staff | Research | Students

We are proud to announce our Florida Atlantic Health Administration graduate and undergraduate teams each placed in the Top 3 at the annual case study competition hosted by the American College of Healthcare Executives of South Florida (ACHE-SFL).

The 2024 ACHE-SFL competition took place on April 13th and was highly competitive with six teams participating from throughout the entire state this year, attracting teams from University of South Florida, University of Miami, University of Central Florida, and University of Florida.

The competition, based on a case study topic that reflects the latest issues or challenges in our healthcare industry and under the guidance of healthcare professionals, has been hailed as best practice by both American College of Health Executives (ACHE) and the Association of University Public Health Administration (AUPHA).

 Each student team is provided with a mentor from a local healthcare organization who serves as a resource throughout a span of three months. All teams receive the same case study; they analyze the study, conduct research, and deliver a polished presentation to a panel of local C-suite healthcare executives acting as competition judges. From the moment teams receive their case study to the final seconds of their presentation, these students are working furiously.

This year’s case study was titled Health Care Systems Need to Better Understand Patients as Consumers. Students were required to address specific points around data collection, service promotion, and marketing with consideration for patients as active purchasers of healthcare. Both of our FAU teams devoted many hours to researching these subject areas, crafting high-tech and professional analyses of the healthcare market as well as how to retain current patients and prevent leakage of consumers.

Sunshine Coast Healthcare System, our graduate team, earned 3rd place.The team included Nicole Peterson, Jessica Kolacia, Rick Martin, Ana Munoz Jaramillo, and Amber Sinopoli. They were assisted by student, Beth German.


“It was an honor to represent FAU in the ACHE-SFL Case Study Competition. Our team’s passion and collaboration led us to third place, and we were thrilled to see our hard work pay off. It was a fun and enriching experience to work with my fellow graduate students on a real-world project that honed our creative, problem-solving skills. Participating in the case study competition was a transformative experience that I will carry with me throughout my academic and professional journey in health administration. Thank you to everyone who attended, supported us, and congratulated us on our placement! We want to extend special thanks to FAU for their dedication to the health administration program, our professors and mentors, and ACHE members for putting on this prestigious competition.”                                             

                                     ~Nicole Peterson, Graduate Dean’s Fellow


“Taking part in the ACHE Case Competition was a great experience. It taught me and my team how to handle real healthcare problems. We worked together to find solutions for patients as consumers. This experience was valuable for our personal and professional growth, teaching us teamwork, critical thinking, and adaptability. I will never forget the look of joy and shock on all 5 of our faces when they announced we had won 3rd place. All the hard work we put in paid off!”

~Amber Sinopoli, Graduate Student


Atlantic Healthcare, our undergraduate team, also earned 3rd place. Their team included Annelise Bontemps Verret, Cashell Canonoy, Anjali Kamath, and Chloe Garcia. Their team was also assisted by students, Alvardo Beneas and Alyssa Sanchez.


“My personal experience with the case study was difficult but rewarding. I loved hearing everyone's viewpoints and tackling a real business question. Each tiring moment researching made our win worth the sacrifice.”

~ Annelise Bontemps Verret, Undergraduate Student


Win, lose, or draw, each year students walk away saying this experience synthesized all the information they absorbed in their array of classes – management, finance, marketing, population health, data analytics. They came to realize that course content is actually applied in the field! That terminology from a textbook is spoken by healthcare managers!

The ACHE-SFL Case Study Competition also provides students with a chance to display their knowledge and professionalism to leaders in healthcare, opening doors to internship and job opportunities. Watching students work hard and succeed is pure joy for faculty members to witness. I’m extremely proud of these emerging healthcare administration leaders.

It’s rewarding to feel I truly reached my students in any given semester or had the opportunity to write a glowing letter of recommendation for an outstanding candidate. However, my role as faculty advisor to the undergraduate and graduate teams for the past eight years—giving a handful of students a unique and challenging opportunity to participate in an activity that will elevate their career potential, like the ACHE Case Competition—brings me another level of gratification.


Jennifer Attonito, Ph.D. is an Instructor of Health Administration in Florida Atlantic’s department of Management