UA Health Sciences Students Compete for a Spot in National CLARION Interprofessional Case Competition

TUCSON, Ariz. – Three interprofessional teams of University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) students competed in the 3rd annual CLARION Interprofessional Case Competition on Friday, February 23, 2018. The case competition is an opportunity for students to gain clinical and operational knowledge that may not otherwise be received through their formal education. The 2018 case focuses on the opioid epidemic, with real-world challenges relating to patient safety in the health care system and how it might be improved. The case is analyzed by team members who present a root-cause analysis, and mentors provide guidance and technical support. 

The winning UAHS team from the February 23 UAHS CLARION Case Competition will compete in the National CLARION Interprofessional Case Competition, April 13 – 14.  The team will travel to Minneapolis, MN to represent the University of Arizona.  UA is one of 17 universities across the nation participating in this elite competition, which is designed to encourage communication among disciplines, especially early on in the careers of health-care professionals, so the values may be carried into practice after graduation. Finalists will have a chance to win a grand prize of $7,500.

The members of the UAHS first place team are:

Aeryana Beaudrie Nunn, UA College of Pharmacy
Christina Lauren Erdelyi, UA Zuckerman College of Public Health
Tianyu Tang, UA College of Medicine, Tucson
Rebecca Veenstra, UA College of Nursing

The winning team was mentored by Dr. Terri Warholak, UA College Pharmacy, and Sandy Kirkpatrick, UA College of Nursing.

The second-place team members were Madhulika Banerjee, UA College of Medicine, Tucson, David Lee, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, Aaron Morrow, UA College of Nursing and Elizabeth Rivard, UA College of Pharmacy. Their mentors were Dr. Christy Pacheco, UA College of Nursing and Dr. Lisa Davis, UA College of Pharmacy.

The third-place team members were Kelechi Abarikwu, UA College of Medicine, Tucson, Amber Davis, UA College of Nursing, Yvonne Ng, UA College of Pharmacy and David Seto, UA College of Pharmacy. Their mentors were Claire Bethel, UA College of Nursing, Dr. Melissa Cox, UA College of Medicine, and Dr. Bradley Dreifuss, UA College of Medicine.

The UAHS local competition and the winning team’s travel are supported by the UA Center for Transformative Inteprofessional Healthcare.

“The Clarion Competition is an advanced interprofessional learning opportunity for our students.  Our teams competed by presenting a root cause analysis of a fictitious sentinel event authored by the National Clarion Competition at the University of Minnesota.  These cases represent complex real world health issues that student teams from around the country evaluate and propose solutions. This year students analyzed a challenging case designed to address the opioid epidemic in rural West Virginia. Our winning team will present their analysis at the national competition.  We are delighted with the work of all our student competitors and thank them and their faculty advisors for the hard work that went into our local competition.  While only one team can progress to nationals, we are proud of all our competitors for a job well done!” said Dr. Sally Reel, associate vice president for interprofessional education, collaborative practice and community engagement.

The event was judged by Dr. LeeAnne Denny, UA College of Medicine, Phoenix, Dr. Francine Gachupin, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Dr. Doug Taren, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Tucson, and Dr. Ted Tong, UA College of Pharmacy.

Participation in CLARION leads students to a more sophisticated understanding of the healthcare system in which they will practice. The competition is a student-driven initiative at the University of Minnesota; which focuses on professional development, including lessons in leadership, teamwork, communication, analytical reasoning, conflict-resolution, and business.


Margie Arnett