From Tiger Tank to Healthcare PRISm Pitch
Trinity’s HCAD program hosts inaugural Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition
Friday, April 16, 2021
murchison tower and sky as background to the text "trinity university's healthcare prism pitch competition"

On Jan. 27-29, 2021, Trinity University's health care administration (HCAD) program was honored to host the inaugural Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition, a virtual event challenging healthcare administration graduate students from across the country to exercise transformational leadership and fuel innovation within the healthcare industry. Students’ efforts began in August 2020 with a call for entries that prompted them to explore, identify, and validate current challenges and problems in healthcare using design thinking principles. Each team, composed of two to four students, independently developed an innovative solution to their identified problem through human-centered thinking and creative problem solving. Of the initial entries received in November 2020, 14 teams were invited to further develop their concepts and share their pitch during the competition's “bracket round,” with a collection of esteemed healthcare leaders serving as judges across four category brackets: Patient Experience, Care Throughout the Continuum, Information & Transparency, and Equipping the Workforce. The four teams that emerged from each bracket—representing Texas State University, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Baylor University, and Indiana University at IUPUI, respectively—advanced to the Final Round as the "Best in Category" winners, and the Best in Show prize was awarded to the Lantern Health team from Baylor University.
 
Healthcare PRISm stands for "Healthcare's Problems Require Innovative Solutions," and the inaugural Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition was a long time in the making, dating back to 2014 when the HCAD program's Advisory Council challenged the faculty to incorporate innovation more in the program. From this initial seed grew the idea for an internal pitch competition—called "Tiger Tank"—which is now in its seventh year as an integral part of the HCAD program experience. The Tiger Tank journey, which serves as the template for Healthcare PRISm, guides students through the interrelated steps of identifying and validating a problem, understanding the problem through empathy-driven approaches, ideating to uncover creative concepts, iterating and "failing fast" to discover viable and desirable solutions, and crafting a convincing pitch to share the story of their problem and solution, equipping the next generation of healthcare leaders to lead with empathy and creative confidence. As Tiger Tank developed through subsequent iterations, the value of the Tiger Tank journey and the interest that it received from other healthcare administration educators led to the development of a national pitch competition that Trinity University could host for peer health administration programs.
 
Throughout the history of Tiger Tank and the development of the Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition, the HCAD program has been continually amazed to receive such strong support, encouragement, and guidance from its alumni, students, and friends, including the Advisory Council and Trinity University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, led by Luis Martínez '91, Ph.D. Alumni who have been essential in developing Healthcare PRISm and Tiger Tank since its earliest days include Buzz White M'06 and Jerold McDonald M'08. Additionally, Patrick Halinski M'11 has continuously taught design thinking principles to HCAD students since 2015, and Livia Istrate M'16 has been a valued contributor to the Tiger Tank journey for numerous years as a consultant to student teams. The judging panels for the inaugural Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition were populated with numerous HCAD alumni, including Traci (Dodderer) Bentley M'02, LaKesha Brooks M'04, Enrique Gallegos M'06, Patrick Halinski M'11, Ashley Hixon M'00, Sally Hurt-Deitch M'03, Brett McClung M'92, Jerold McDonald M'08, Andre Storey M'12, Scott Sundell M'12, and Buzz White M'06. Friends of the program who also served as judges included Jim Hinton (Baylor Scott & White Health), Heather Anderson (Stogo), Ryan Armbruster (University of Minnesota), Julie Carmalt (Cornell University), Andy Garman (Rush University), Steven Howard (St. Louis University), Alex Maiersperger (SAS, Advancement League), Sarah Wechsberg (Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina), and Mike Zucker (FetchMD).
 
As we celebrate the inaugural Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition, we're thrilled that through the continual efforts and support of the HCAD Family, our goal of hosting a national pitch competition has become a reality, making a tangible difference in the advancement of the program as well as the broader field of health administration education. It's exciting to think about what's to come as we work to ideate, iterate, and innovate in developing Healthcare PRISm 2.0 for next year! 

You can watch the video of the Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition Finals below.

To learn more about the Healthcare PRISm Pitch Competition, visit the competition's website or email Patrick Shay

Patrick D. Shay '03, M'05 is an associate professor in the Department of Health Care Administration at Trinity University.

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