Career and technical student organizations (CTSO’s) play an integral part in the success of CTE students looking to further their academic, technical, and soft skills as they become desirable candidates for employment. CareerSafe values the opportunities to build relationships with exceptional organizations that share the same ideals. This month, we are highlighting HOSA - Future Health Professionals. HOSA is the only national student organization that exclusively serves secondary and postsecondary students pursuing careers in health professions.
In 1957, educational programs for health occupations were growing at a pace that required the need for an organization that supports health science students. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, students’ needs were met through Future Nurses Club and Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA); followed by other organizations including the Health Careers Clubs. Health occupations programs continued to be established across many states; however, as programs for health occupations continued to become more diverse, educators in these programs came together with the purpose of creating a unique organization for students enrolled in health science education, biomedical sciences, or having an interest in pursuing careers within the health industry that could help reduce the shortage in qualified health care workers. On November 4-7, 1975, representatives of state officers and supervisors of Health Occupations Education (HOE) programs voted to form the American Health Occupations Education Student Organization (AHOESO) which would later be shortened to Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) in the fall of 1976.
Over the last 39 years, HOSA has grown into an organization across all 50 states and 3 U.S. territories – totaling over 4,500 chapters as well as international affiliations in Mexico, Canada, American Somoa, and Italy. HOSA has been and continues to be a valuable resource for students due to the rapidly changing health care system that needs dedicated and capable workers. Its members have numerous opportunities to build leadership, teamwork and communication skills in addition to technical and academic training to become responsible and successful in the health care field. Currently, there are six categories of events – health science, health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership, teamwork, and recognition – that students are encouraged to participate in competitively at the local, state and national level. As the largest student organization which prepares students to enter the health field, HOSA aims to promote career opportunities and enhance the quality of health care for all people. Students promote healthy physical and mental well-being and develop character well-suited for biomedical sciences and health professions.
National HOSA recently shared a member story with us about Anthony Santibanez. Mr. Santibanez was introduced to the organization his freshman year of high school. He shares his story of overcoming adversity and credits HOSA for his success, “I was dumbfounded that these people that I never met before saw something in me. I have never thought I would be where I am today and it is because of HOSA.” Mr. Santibanez is proud of who has he become and to represent HOSA as a state officer. “HOSA has taught me it’s what you make of yourself that makes you successful, not what you learn.” More about his story can be found at https://medium.com/@NationalHOSA/story-of-a-lifetime-118e2ed7f5a2.
This great organization is changing young people’s lives and inspiring them to accomplish great things as they take steps to make a difference in health care. We invite you to share your own personal stories about how HOSA has impacted your students’ lives.
CareerSafe encourages educators to congratulate HOSA on their students’ success in the health industry and learn more about this outstanding organization at http://hosa.org/. We look forward to seeing many HOSA members at this year’s 2015 National Leadership Conference June 24-27 in Anaheim, California.