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As a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, ACHE, Higher Education Network, the Auburn Health Administration Services program, HADM, is allowed to submit one student essay each year to the Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition. This year’s entry has been awarded first place in the undergraduate division of the competition. The essay was written by Andrew Peeler, a senior in HADM, and is entitled “Strategies for Cost Saving through Social Determinants of Health.”

“I was very excited to learn that I had won the competition. I felt that I had a well-written essay that could definitely be a finalist, but I wasn’t sure if I would win. So learning I placed first was exciting and a great honor for both myself and the program,” Peeler said.

The Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition was named in honor of Richard J. Stull, ACHE president from 1965-1978. The purpose of the competition is to stimulate and demonstrate the ability of future healthcare executives to identify and describe important issues and developments in their chosen profession.

“Andrew is a fine example of the high caliber of students we have in the HADM program, and his essay was one of several outstanding HADM essays considered for submission to the competition this year,” said Dr. Cathleen Erwin, director of the HADM program.

Peeler is the fourth Auburn HADM student to place in the competition in the four years that HADM has participated, and the third to be awarded first place. Previous winners include:

2016 Savanna Williams-1st place for “Strategic Plan for Maximizing Shared Savings in an Accountable Care Organization”

2017 Julia Alton Tubbs-3rd place for “Sustaining the Healthcare System through New Staffing Models, Community Relationships, and Multidisciplinary Outpatient Facilities”

2018 Hannah Kaye Fleming-1st place for “Improving Quality and Lowering Cost Through Community Care Teams”

Peeler will present his paper during a conference session at the American College of Healthcare Executives National Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago in early March. He will be formally recognized at one of the conference luncheons attended by thousands of healthcare leaders from across the U.S. In addition to receiving a cash prize of $3,000 and an expense-paid trip to attend ACHE’s national conference, his essay will be published in the Journal of Healthcare Management later this year. The HADM program is also awarded a cash prize of $1,000 in recognition of Peeler’s first place finish.

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For more information about HADM, go to

Read more about the essay contest.