MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

October 3, 2015 

Mayville State will host HOSA conference


Mayville State University will have the privilege of hosting North Dakota’s HOSA-Future Health Professionals (Health Occupation Student Organization) fall conference on Monday, Oct. 5. This is the second year in a row in which Mayville State has hosted the high school students and their advisors from across the state. They’ll be getting together 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.

Students from Bismarck High School, Century High School, and Legacy High School, Bismarck; Central High School and Red River High School, Grand Forks; North Valley Career & Technology Center, Grafton; West Fargo High School and Sheyenne High School, West Fargo; and Killdeer High School will be attending the fall conference at Mayville State.

Mayville State’s connection to HOSA comes through the North Dakota Area Health and Education Centers (NDAHECs). Mayville State 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 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. NDAHECs support HOSA 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 AHEC employees Lois Karlstad, from Mayville, and Christi Miller, from Hettinger, are coordinating the conference and taking care of the details. They have enlisted the help of Mayville State’s nursing faculty to offer hands-on training opportunities for the students who attend the conference. Terry Kemmer, Mayville State professor emeritus and coordinator of the Larson Leadership program at Mayville State, will be the keynote speaker for the day.

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.

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.

We at Mayville State are extremely happy for the opportunity to provide learning opportunities for young people, while helping to tackle the statewide need for additional health care professionals. I extend my personal thanks to all who are making this possible.