HOSA stays in good health

Aro Majumder

The Health Occupations Students of America club has grown tremendously within the last few years and has found great success at the local and national levels of competition. With over 170 members, the club participates in a variety of events.

“You can prepare and work with a team, or individually, for a competition,” club sponsor Jackie Uselton said. “Then you get to meet other high school students all around Texas and the nation who are doing the same thing you are – trying to get into medical school. They can network with one another and see each other at the conferences.

HOSA is mainly for people who want to get into the medical field later in life. They work closely with the health science classes that are taught at Westlake and are a means of getting to understand medical study at a deeper level. The club is a great way to gain access to opportunities otherwise not easily available.

“My health science courses go hand in hand with the club activities,” Uselton said. “It gives you some experience with medical related concerns or issues. We have community service and we had a couple of guest speakers come. We encourage [students] to be out there in the community and be involved in hospitals and raise money for research through the Memory Walk and the Susan G. Komen run.

Westlake has had some star performers throughout the years. Last year, current seniors Javier Ortiz and Michael Ley both made it to Nationals in Healthcare Issues Exam, and Javier finished in first place. Senior Brenda Chiang went to Nationals for Dental Science, and senior Saamiha Kenkare finished second place in the nation for Nutrition.

HOSA is a well known club around the nation and has many big events throughout the year. The clubs in Texas have managed to secure a partnership with the local NBA teams, which gives members exposure to the medical side of sports.

“HOSA Day with the Spurs is a program where the NBA teams in Texas have partnered with HOSA,” Uselton said. “Their medical teams – the doctors, trainers, nutrition staff, strength and conditioning trainers – put on a conference for us and show us what they do. It’s kind of a sports medicine conference.

Being a part of HOSA is great for those looking to get into college with medical school on their mind. It shows dedication to the field and can help students gain an advantage over their competitors.

“We have people that are going into college thinking about majoring in something medical to students who are definitely bound for the pre-med track and are taking the necessary AP classes,” Uselton said.
The club does a lot of things around the community and in the school to attract new members.

“We have a booth at the eighth grade elective fair, and it’s kind of incorporated into our health science program and our fish camp,” Allison said. “We go there and promote HOSA and health science and answer any questions they may have.

Being a part of HOSA has given a lot to the kids that can be used in their future.

“It’s helped me decide what I want to do, where I want to go, what path I want to take,” officer junior Allison Huynh said.