The Future Generation of Medicine

Millard HOSA members compete at State and qualify for Internationals


photo courtesy of Millard Health Sciences Academy

Jessica Burd, Staff Writer

On Mar. 18, Millard West Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) took on the Nebraska State Leadership Conference at University of Nebraska Omaha’s Mammel Hall.

Millard West HOSA is sponsored by speech pathologist Jeanette Meyer and has over 90 active members. HOSA exposes high school students to the vast world of medicine and gives hands on experience; Meyer and chapter officers facilitate weekly meetings and organize events like cadaver lab visits, guest speakers, blood drives and partnerships with local hospitals.

In addition to these activities, HOSA members have the opportunity to put their medical knowledge and experience to the test at the State competition each year.

“If students want to participate in the State conference, there are about 52 different events they can choose to do,” Meyer said. “They can pick from two online events and two skills events. We had students participate in about seven different events.”

With approximately 40 HOSA chapters in Nebraska, the competition was fierce at this year’s State conference. Competition events are organized by various categories which include health science, emergency preparedness, leadership and recognition. Each event is unique and can range from taking a test to presenting research to judges.

“The healthy lifestyle event took the most to prepare because I had to start at the beginning of the year,” senior and chapter communications historians Olivia Schuster said. “I had to log hours of sleep, write papers and collect graphs to present for competition.”

Chapter members prepared for their events in a variety of ways in hopes of dominating the competition. Sophomore Despina Quintana Sanchez studied for Epidemiology and Pharmacy Science by memorizing vocabulary terms and looking over material provided by the HOSA website. Although Millard was well represented on the scoreboard, senior and chapter president Isabella Miceli believes there is always room for improvement.

“I think we could start preparing our members for specific events earlier on in the year at meetings and teach everyone how to do certain skills,” Miceli said. “We would feel more comfortable and not have to rush the preparation while we are at the actual competition.”

The award ceremony was held on Mar. 19 at the Baxter Arena. Junior Luke Skrabal and senior Cooper VanderMeulen earned third place in Forensics, Schuster took first place in Healthy Living and second in Sports Medicine and Quintana Sanchez placed first in Epidemiology and third Pharmacy Science.

Over 40 students from the Millard Health Science Academy competed at State and qualified for Internationals as well. HOSA’s 42nd annual international competition will take place in Orlando, Florida this year from June 19 – 22.