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Wolsey-Wessington students attend HOSA National Leadership Conference

Posted: Saturday, Jul 26th, 2014

From left, are Wolsey-Wessington Health Occupations Student Association members Alyssa Fernholz, Jadyn McCready, Chelsey Langbehn, Emma Abbott, Brittany Bergquist and Mariah Lord. They are standing in front of a fountain located outside the Coronado Springs Resort where the 37th annual HOSA National Leadership Conference was held in late June. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

On June 25-28, six Wolsey-Wessington Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) members attended the 37th Annual HOSA National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Orlando, Florida, which was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

This is the second year that South Dakota has had a nationally-affiliated HOSA chapter, and only the first year for Wolsey-Wessington High School to have an affiliated chapter.

Attending this year’s conference were senior Mariah Lord, junior Chelsey Langbehn, sophomores Emma Abbott, Alyssa Fernholz, and Brittany Bergquist, freshman Jadyn McCready, and adviser Carmen Bartells.

HOSA is a national student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE). HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA’s goal is to encourage all health science instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HSE-HOSA Partnership.

HOSA is comprised of 48 chartered state associations, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the countries of Italy and Mexico. This year’s NLC had over 8,000 secondary and post-secondary members in attendance. While at the NLC, Wolsey-Wessington members took part in general assemblies, state meetings, and break-out sessions. Highlighted, however, was their chance to compete in various competitive events after earning their spot to move on from the SD State Leadership Conference.

Lord competed in Nursing Assisting, a health professions event which was an opportunity for her to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the subject area. This event was a two round competition; round one was a written, multiple choice test of knowledge and understanding. The top scoring competitors advanced to round two for the timed performance of selected skill procedures which required the use of critical thinking skills. Among 84 competitors in this event in round one, Lord was one of 44 to advance to round two.

Abbott and McCready competed in Health Career Display, a teamwork event designed help competitors communicate career information to others. This team had to develop a visual display of a specific career and express ideas through an artistic medium to highlight the benefits of a particular career focus. Choosing dental hygiene as their focus, along with their display, Abbot and McCready also had to present judges with a five-minute oral presentation. Following their presentation, their display was showcased to the public and they had the opportunity to discuss their health career with others.

Langbehn, Fernholz, and Bergquist competed in the Community Awareness teamwork event, showcasing the local chapter fundraising efforts for the Beadle County Relay for Life. This event required a project that promoted community awareness of a health issue of local, state, and/or national interest, assisted communities to become more aware of the pros and cons of the selected issue, promoted goodwill and public relations for local HOSA chapters, and evaluated the effectiveness and impact of the project to the community. The team presented judges with a 17-page portfolio of the year-long project, as well as a five-minute oral presentation. Following their presentation, their project, too, was showcased to the public.

The top ten competitors in a total of 47 events were recognized at the Grand Awards Ceremony at the NLC on June 28.

Regarding her time at the HOSA NLC, Emma Abbott said, “It was an amazing experience that I will never forget; from the drive, opening session, and competing against people all over the nation! I love HOSA!!”

For the complete article see the 07-25-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-25-2014 paper.

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