MBA/MPH Team Prescribes Winning Rx in Health Competition

Consideration of client culture and deep analysis helped a team of Berkeley MBA students in the joint business-public health graduate degree program win the inaugural Health Services Case Competition at Kellogg on April 30.

Joel Davis, Sarah Weinberger, and Jeff Williamson, all MBA/MPH 12, won because of their comprehensive growth strategy for DaVita Rx, a full-service pharmacy for kidney patients, and a subdivision of dialysis care provider DaVita. The competition was led by a newly formed Business School Alliance for Healthcare Management, an organization of ten leading business schools with health management programs, including Berkeley-Haas, Wharton, Harvard, and Fuqua.

Weinberger says Berkeley-Haas coursework prepared the team by providing them with a deep understanding of the U.S. healthcare system, strong analysis frameworks, and even storytelling skills. Additionally, they tapped into the Haas network, gleaning information on DaVita culture from a second-year MBA student who worked for the company before coming to Berkeley-Haas. Weinberger says this attention to aligning strategic recommendations with corporate culture gave the team an edge.

Their comprehensive approach included enrolling all of DaVita’s dialysis patients in DaVita Rx, becoming the pharmacy partner of choice for third-party dialysis centers, broadening the patient base to include those with Chronic Kidney Disease as well as those on dialysis, and providing targeted lifestyle products to DaVita Rx patients. “Overall, our focus was on increasing the number of patients touched by DaVita Rx as well as the number of services provided to those patients,” says Weinberger.