blood-web.jpgMayville State University was host for the fall leadership conference of North Dakota’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals (Health Occupation Student Organization) fall conference Oct. 5, 2015. One hundred twenty-five 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.

North Dakota has chapters at Bismarck Public Schools/Missouri River CTE, Bismarck Legacy High School, Langdon Area High School, Grafton North Valley Career & Tech Center, Sheyenne High School, West Fargo High School, Hettinger Area High School, Killdeer Public 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.

The HOSA-Future Health Professionals fall leadership conference was held to elect 2015-2016 officers and to inform chapter advisors of changes and upcoming events. 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, Mayville State’s RN to BSN program, and Sanford Clinic’s lab department, Mayville.

blood_pressure-web.jpgTerry Kemmer, Mayville State University professor emeritus and coordinator of the Larson Leadership Program at Mayville State was the keynote speaker for the day. He spoke on various aspects of leadership, including the different types of leaders and what makes a good leader.

The 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.

injections-web.jpgPhoto Captions:

Top: Pam Carlson of Sanford in Mayville (center) teaches students about blood typing.

Middle: Kari Matthys with Mayville State’s RN to BSN program (center) gives hands-on instruction to high school students learning to take a blood pressure reading.

Bottom: Tami Such, associate professor of nursing with Mayville State’s RN to BSN program, instructs high school students as they learn to give injections.