Rome Middle School students with an interest in becoming future Health Professionals were given the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, Ga. to compete in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) State Leadership Conference on March 14 – 16.

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) was created with the idea of providing students opportunities to develop as a leader and future employee in the healthcare field. This is the first year Rome Middle School has hosted a HOSA Chapter and were lucky enough to send 13 students to compete at State.

“The State Leadership Conference is essentially a competition where students from all over come together and compete in different events,” explained Lauren Pritchard, Rome Middle School teacher. “The preparation for this event lasts all year long.

“We had 13 students attend the conference. This is the first year we have had HOSA as a chapter, so having 13 students go which is a huge accomplishment,” continued Pritchard.

The 13 RMS students competed in eight different events during the State Conference. Six of those teams placed within the top ten.

“We had three teams competed in the health career display event,” said Pritchard. “This event is essentially where teams worked together to create a display project about a certain health career. The event requires them
to look into the description, job outlook, education and certifications, salary, where these people can work, etc.”

Julissa Lemus and Shakira Funez were called back to round two of the State Conference, where they presented their display board to the judges, placing sixth overall in that particular competition.

Albin Manuel-Mendez competed in the extemporaneous health poster, which is an onsite event. Manuel-Mendez was given a secret topic before beginning and was then given three hours to complete a poster
detailing his secret topic. Albin’s secret topic was a CDC Initiative where he had to talk about different lifestyle initiatives such as, heart diseases, smoking, unintended pregnancies and more. He placed eighth overall.

“Albin did fantastic in this event and we are so proud of him,” said Pritchard. Albin said, “This was my first year joining HOSA, so of course I was nervous to compete at first. But once I got started, I really enjoyed it.”
One of the other events several students at RCS competed in was the career exploration test, where students had to explore the five career fields in healthcare and take a test on those different career fields and what happens in them.

There were also knowledge-based tests where students took an initial 50 question test in January, which pushed them into the Top 50 to compete at State. “The medical reading and terminology test were perhaps the hardest
knowledge test during this entire process,” said Pritchard.

Nada Samha was recognized and received a top five placement for medical reading. “When I was preparing, I really just had to sit down and read. It was fun because I really love to read and the topics were things I was
interested in,” said Samha.


Last, but most certainly not least, several of the RCS Chapter of HOSA’s officers participated in an outstanding chapter scrapbook. Elise Beck, one of the HOSA officers, took everything we have done throughout the year
into scrapbook form and presented it to the judges.

“I could not be prouder of how our students did at the HOSA State Conference event. We are already looking forward to next year, as well as the future. I am so proud of these kids,” smiled Pritchard.

For more information on HOSA, visit their website at: http://hosa.org