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Mark Rucci presents the team's strategy during the naitonal health policy competition.
10:15 a.m., March 9, 2015--University of Delaware graduate student
Mark Rucci was a member of a team that won a national health policy
competition sponsored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy,
Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Forty-five teams of students representing 93 schools came together
Feb. 28 at five regional host sites across the United States to
participate in the NASPAA Student Simulation Competition. The student
teams were challenged to examine health care reform and present a
locally-led, bottom up approach to the issue.
Rucci, a 4+1 student in the master of public administration (MPA) program in UDs School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA),
competed on a team that won not only the national capital regional
competition but was also selected by a panel of experts in the field as
the national winner.
In addition to Rucci, the winning team included the following graduate students:
In total, the 45 competing teams investigated more than 4,400 health
care futures that were compared in a simulator to a control base that
predicted what would happen in the future if it was assumed that no
changes were made to todays health care system.
The winning teammates demonstrated masterful knowledge of health care
challenges and concerns surrounding current policy, according to a
representative of the competition. They used sophisticated reasoning to
develop complex policies that would provide significant, long-term
health care improvements and have realistic potential to be implemented
in our politically charged world.
The students made sophisticated tradeoffs in their policy design that
would allow their policies to be both organizationally and politically
The winning students designed a hypothetical scenario that would fix
bottlenecks in the system, balance public and private funding, and
create solvent hospitals. The carefully sequenced strategy included
paying health care providers based on value, instead of volume, of
services, coupled with investments that would support self-care,
establish medical homes, coordinate care to cut costs, and reinvest
gains to encourage healthier behaviors and create realistic pathways for
those in poverty.
If this strategy were scaled and implemented in regions across the country, it could:
Rucci said he is thrilled that his team won the competition, grateful
for the opportunity to represent SPPA and UD on a national level, and
proud of his teams work in the challenge.
As UD makes more moves to focus on interdisciplinary, problem-based
learning, I feel that my success at the NASPAA competition is a product
of that approach, Rucci said. Having had the opportunity to attempt to
improve health outcomes through public policy with students from around
the world and at major universities was rewarding and realistic.
He added, It was an honor for our team to be named the capital
region winner, but the announcement as the national champion was truly
humbling for us. We hope that this award will highlight the importance
of supporting public policy at universities across the country as a true
pillar of social entrepreneurship.
The simulator used in the competition is a state-of -the-art policy
planning tool developed by the Rippel Foundation as part of its ReThink
Health initiative, and is based on extensive research and widespread
engagement with communities.
The ReThink Health Model has been used to support ambitious health
reform efforts in cities that include Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pueblo,
Originally published by UDaily
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