Yale undergraduate team wins first place in national health policy competition < Yale School of Public Health

A Yale undergraduate team of Abe Baker-Butler (Ezra Stiles ’25), Patryk Dabek (Ezra Stiles ’25), and Allie Dettelbach (Saybrook ’25) won first place in the health policy case competition from Tulane University 2022 (TUHPCC), a prestigious national public health competition seeking policy solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.

Forty-one undergraduate teams representing 22 universities across the country submitted slides with their policy proposals. With its entry, Operation Healthy Homefront, the Yale team was named one of three finalists (along with teams from Brown and Northwestern) and presented live via Zoom in front of a panel of expert judges on October 29. The Yale team emerged victorious.

Baker-Butler, Dabek and Dettelbach will each receive a cash prize of $1,000, as well as a $10,000 scholarship to the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Tulane University’s School of Public Health. .

Operation Healthy Homefront is a two-pronged approach consisting of 1) veteran-led mentorship of at-risk youth recruited through hospital-based violence intervention (HVIP) programs and 2) firearms safety courses led by veterans, to reduce firearm homicides.

Dr. Charles Stoecker directs the TUHPCC and holds the JP Morgan Chase Professorship in Health Care Financing at the Tulane School of Public Health. Stoecker commented: “While the competition was fierce, a set of three judges, with particular expertise in the politics of gun violence, chose the policy proposal of Abe, Allie and Patryk for its combination of details on the field (the team had carefully considered synergies between veterans and the target population) and involve trauma-informed approaches.

Dr. Howard Forman, who recommended students to enter the TUHPCC, is a professor of radiology, economics, public health, and management at Yale, as well as director of the Yale MD/MBA program. Forman commented: “I am extremely proud of Abe, Allie and Patryk for their victory at the TUHPCC. Their proposal was thoughtful, innovative and well analyzed. It was designed for fairness and the local political environment and is a much-needed step in helping to address the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our country. I hope Operation Healthy Homefront becomes a reality; that we will learn from it; then apply what works to related local and regional efforts.

Baker-Butler, Dabek and Dettelbach said they were grateful to Dr. Stoecker and the TUHPCC judges for their recognition and support of the Operation Healthy Homefront proposal. They also thanked Professor Forman for his mentorship, as well as Dr James Dodington, Medical Director of the Yale New Haven Hospital Center for Injury and Violence Prevention, for his guidance during the process.

Although they are happy with the recognition from the TUHPCC, Baker-Butler, Dabek and Dettelbach are not done. They plan to implement Operation Healthy Homefront through a pilot program in New Haven and then expand from there. The team welcomes input, contacts, and ideas from Yale students, faculty, staff, and alumni as it embarks on this next stage of the project.

More information about the competition is available here.

The team’s slideshow, as presented, can be accessed here.

Yale undergraduate team wins first place in national health policy competition < Yale School of Public Health

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