Department of Political Science

Health Services Administration graduate wins national essay award

Published on Apr 11, 2016

Written by Bethany Broderick

Savanna williams

On March 16th, recent College of Liberal Arts graduate Savanna Williams was recognized for her award-winning essay at the Leon I. Gintzig Luncheon attended by more than one thousand healthcare executives at the American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) Congress on Health Leadership in Chicago, Illinois. She had the opportunity to present her paper earlier in the day during a conference educational session.

Williams, who graduated summa cum laude with a degree in health services administration in December, wrote the essay titled, "Strategic Plan for Maximizing Shared Savings in Accountable Care Organizations,” for Dr. Cathleen Erwin’s Developing Healthcare Organizations course this past fall. Her essay was selected by Dr. Erwin for entry into the undergraduate division of ACHE’s Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management, a nationwide competition that recognizes students who identify and describe important issues in the field of healthcare management. As a member of ACHE’s Higher Education Network, the Health Services Administration Program in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University has the opportunity to annually submit one student essay to the competition. This year is the first time that the program has participated in the competition.


ACHE's Richard J. Stull first place award includes a $3,000 prize for Williams and a $1,000 contribution to the Auburn Department of Political Science’s Health Services Administration program. Her essay will also be published in ACHE’s Journal of Healthcare Management. ACHE is one of the leading professional associations for health care executives in the United States.


"Savanna's award is well-deserved and terrific national exposure for Auburn," Erwin, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, said. "It's a really big deal in the healthcare administration world."

During her time at Auburn, Williams was also a member of the Honors College and interned with a pharmaceutical consulting company in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently employed as an outreach specialist at Aledade, Inc., a D.C.-based company that partners with independent primary care providers to create accountable care organizations.