DC Public Health Case Challenge

The DC Public Health Case Challenge aims to promote interdisciplinary, problem-based learning around a public health issue that faces the local Washington, DC, community. Universities in the DC area that have a school or program of public health form teams consisting of 3-6 members from at least three disciplines.​ Teams are given a case, written by students from the participating universities, that provides background information on a local public health problem. Teams have a limited amount of time to devise a comprehensive intervention, which they present to an expert panel of judges. Teams are judged on the interdisciplinary nature of their response, feasibility of implementation, creativity, and practicality. Each year a topic for the case is chosen that is relevant in the local DC area and also has broader domestic and global resonance.

The broad topic of the 2023 Case Challenge is Women’s Health in Washington, DC. On September 21, the precise topic and the case will be released to competing teams. The 10th Annual DC Public Health Case Challenge will take place on October 6, 2023 at the NAS Building.

Case Challenge Highlights Video

This short video features the university teams and some of the students who competed in the 2022 DC Public Health Case Challenge that was focused on the youth role in the building of protective community environments to prevent and tackle intimate partner violence in the District of Columbia. Students had 2 weeks to design a solution responsive to the case, and they presented before a panel of judges in a one-day event. More details about the 2022 and previous competitions are provided below.

2023 Case: Women’s Health in Washington, DC

The 2023 DC Public Health Case Challenge will take place on Friday, October 6, 2023. The case will be released to the competing University teams on September 21, 2023. Additional information will be posted when available.


2022 Case: Protective Community Environments and Their Contribution to Intimate Partner Violence Prevention: The Role of Youth

The 2022 DC Public Health Case Challenge took place on Monday, October 10, 2022. Six DC-area university teams developed and proposed solutions with a hypothetical $1 million budget to be used during a five-year span. The teams presented their solutions to a panel of expert judges, and they were evaluated on the interdisciplinary nature of their response, feasibility of implementation, creativity, and practicality. The Grand Prize was awarded, along with prizes for interprofessionalism, and two Wildcard prizes (for integrating theater into a solution, and for cohesive and detailed presentation of the solution).

Case Challenge | Informational Webinar | Winning Proposal | Summary


2021 Case: Prevention and Control of Bacterial Sexually Transmitted Infections in Young Adults 18-24

The 2021 DC Public Health Case Challenge took place on Friday, October 29, 2021. Seven universities from the DC area developed and presented solutions to address sexually transmitted infections in DC. Their solutions were evaluated by a panel of expert judges and four prizes were awarded: the Grand Prize, Practicality Prize, Harrison C. Spencer Interprofessional Prize, and a Wildcard Prize.

Case Challenge | Informational Webinar | Winning Proposal | Summary


2020 Case Challenge was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


2019 Case: Reducing Health Disparities in Maternal Mortality by Addressing Unmet Health-Related Social Needs

Case Challenge | Winning Proposal | Informational webinar


2018 Case: Reducing Disparities in Cancer and Chronic Disease: Preventing Tobacco Use in African American Adolescents

Case Challenge | Winning ProposalInformational webinar | Summary


2017 Case: Lead and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Neurological and Behavioral Consequences for Youth in the District of Columbia

Case Challenge | Winning Proposal | SummaryInformational webinar | Follow-Up Event


2016 Case: The Changing American City and Implications for Health and Well-Being of Vulnerable Populations

Case Challenge | Winning Proposal | Summary


2015 Case: Supporting Mental Health in Older Veterans

Case Challenge  | Winning Proposal | SummaryFollow-Up Event


2014 Case: Supporting Adult Involvement in Adolescent Health and Education

Case Challenge | Winning Proposal | SummaryFollow-Up Event


2013 Case: Violence Affecting LGBT Youth

Case Challenge | Winning Proposal | Summary | Follow-Up Event


The DC Public Health Case Challenge is co-sponsored by the National Academy of Medicine’s Kellogg Health of the Public Fund and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement, with support from the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education.  The Case Challenge is modeled on Emory University’s Global Health Case Competition, and was born when representatives from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and Georgetown University met at Emory’s competition in March 2013.

For more information, contact Amy Geller, Senior Program Officer, at ageller@nas.edu.

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