keynote_speaker-web.jpgMayville State University, Mayville, N.D., was host for the fall leadership conference of North Dakota’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals (Health Occupation Student Organization) fall conference Oct. 23, 2014. Eighty-seven high school students and their advisors from across the state were at Mayville State for a day of learning and interacting with others who share an interest in pursuing careers in health.

HOSA is a national student organization that provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, collegiate, and adult students enrolled in health science classes. HOSA’s competitive events program, aligned with the National Healthcare Skills Standards, helps students graduate and be career- and college-ready and offers six event categories including health science, health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership, teamwork, and recognition.

beach_ball-web.jpgNorth Dakota has chapters at Bismarck Public Schools/Missouri River CTE, Langdon Area High School, Grafton High School, Sheyenne High School, West Fargo High School, Hettinger Area High School, and Red River and Central High Schools in Grand Forks, all of which had students present at the fall conference. These are students who are enrolled in a state-approved health science program or who are planning to pursue careers in health professions.

injections-web.jpgThe HOSA-Future Health Professionals fall leadership conference was held to elect 2014-2015 officers and to inform chapter advisors of changes and upcoming events. Elected HOSA officers are as follows: Jessica Stair, Bismarck, N.D., president; Morgan Stirling, West Fargo, N.D., vice president; Abby Kaseman, Bismarck, N.D., secretary/reporter; Cassie Andress, Hettinger, N.D., state treasurer/historian/social media officer; and Michael Hertz, Bismarck, N.D., parliamentarian. The conference also provided for networking between all of the HOSA chapters from around the state. Hands-on health care-related learning activities were provided by personnel associated with the Dakota Nursing Program and West Traill Ambulance Service.

IVs-web.jpgThe mission of HOSA is to enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skills, and leadership development of all health science students, therefore, helping students to meet the needs of the health care community. The organization has three divisions: secondary, postsecondary/collegiate, and professional.

The North Dakota Area Health and Education Centers (NDAHECs) support HOS in North Dakota, providing oversight, administration, and financial assistance. The partnership between the two organizations builds a pipeline for future health care workforce. Mayville State University hosts the North Dakota AHEC program, which works to enhance access to quality primary care and public health in rural and underserved areas, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community and academic partnerships. AHEC has offices in Mayville, which serves eastern North Dakota), and Hettinger, which serves western North Dakota.

Health care is one of the fastest growing job sectors, and is North Dakota’s number two employer. The need for health care professionals is great in the state. Ninety-one percent of North Dakota counties have less than the national average of physicians. Predictions are that by 2020, there will be a shortage of 200 rural family practice physicians in North Dakota. HOSA can play a major role in helping to recruit future health care professionals.

Captions for above photos:

Top: Jirina (Kitka) Foltysova, Dr.PH, evaluation faculty member at the Center for Rural Health University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Science, addressed the HOSA fall conference attendees, telling them of her journey with public health, which led her to her current career, and motivating them about careers in health.

Second: To kick off the day’s break-out sessions, students participated in an ice-breaker activity that involved a beach ball and answering questions that would help their fellow-HOSA members get to know them better.

Third: Dakota Nursing Program students assisted in giving HOSA participants hands-on opportunities to learn how to give injections.

Fourth: Using lifelike training models, students were able to try their hands at inserting intravenous needles.

Fifth: Members of the West Traill Ambulance personnel and AHEC’s computerized SimMan patient simulator were on hand to help HOSA students learn more about the role of emergency medical professionals.