USF shines at the HOSA Florida Leadership Competition

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USF College of Public Health undergraduate students in USF’s HOSA: Future Health Professionals participated in the Florida Leadership Competition, held in Orlando, April 14-17, and showed how USF Health students are on track to help make life better.

HOSA is an international student organization with more than 200,000 members in more than 4,000 chapters for the 2015-2016 school year.

Their mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. Membership in the USF HOSA club is open to students from any major interested in becoming part of a unique and rewarding experience.

USF HOSA members at the 2016 Florida Leadership Competition in Orlando, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

USF HOSA members at the 2016 Florida Leadership Competition in Orlando, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

The state leadership competition consisted of didactic presentations, awards ceremony and a competition where students competed in a series of group and individual assessments to analyze their health decision making skills. Judges included health representatives from all areas of health, such as those specializing in medical, physical therapy and public health.

Students advanced to the next level of the competition based on their performance.

USF Health’s team of 19 members competed in more than ten different events where they turned in multiple strong performances or scored high on their exams.

COPH undergraduate student, Michelle Allman, took first place in the epidemiology knowledge test, which included questions on types of studies that are used in the field of epidemiology to various diseases and conditions.

“HOSA has reinforced my passion for epidemiology,” said Allman. “This organization has helped me to meet others who also are heading into this field of public health. It has given me valuable leadership skills and experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. HOSA is something that I looked forward to all through high school and could not wait to get back to as soon as I started at USF.”

Michelle Allman shows Bull pride after placing first in the epidemiology category. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

Michelle Allman shows Bull pride after placing first in the epidemiology category. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

The health education team with COPH undergraduate students Suzane Nazir, Cristian Flores and Angelis Contreras, captured first place with their prepared lesson to educate on a health-related concept by providing instruction and evaluation of results.

(From left): Angelis Contreras, Cristian Flores and Suzane Nazir (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

(From left): Angelis Contreras, Cristian Flores and Suzane Nazir. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

COPH undergraduate Christopher Cooper and Bhavesh Chauhan demonstrated their skills in emergency medical care, taking first place for the EMT competition. This event consisted of a written test of knowledge and understanding, and then the top teams advanced to the second round where they demonstrated their skills as they responded to an emergency scenario that required a quick assessment and critical thinking.

(From left) Bhavesh Chauhan and Christopher Cooper. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

(From left) Bhavesh Chauhan and Christopher Cooper. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

The complete list of winners include: (students listed in bold are public health undergraduates)

Biomedical Laboratory Science, 2nd place
Fariha Hossain

EMT, 1st Place
Christopher Cooper and Bhavesh Chauhan

Epidemiology, 1st place
Michelle Nicholle Allman

Extemporaneous Health Poster, 4th place
Myna He

Health Career Display, 3rd place
Anushah Zainulabeddin

Healthy Lifestyle, 1st place
Jyothi Edupuganti

Health Education, 1st place
Suzane Nazir, Cristian Flores and Angelis Contreras

Medical Innovation, 1st place
Sierra Raines and Sebastian Mankiewicz

Medical Law and Ethics, 1st place
Khadiza Khan

Researched Persuasive Speaking, 1st place
Anjali Parmar

“The USF HOSA members have been preparing for the past six months with true dedication toward succeeding in their competitions at the state-level,” said HOSA faculty advisor Elizabeth Dunn. “It takes leadership, planning, and time to practice, at a competitive-level, the skills and knowledge they have obtained, not only in their coursework at the university, but through supplementary research and training. This is not only a meaningful learning experience and a true demonstration of leadership, but our students have put their hearts into this and many are taking home the gold.”

The USF chapter of HOSA: Future Health Professionals was also recognized at the competition as the largest HOSA Post-Secondary Chapter in Florida, with 322 members, beating out all other universities in the state of Florida.

“This is a huge achievement since USF HOSA has always been one of the smaller postsecondary organizations in previous years,” said USF HOSA president Kathryn Ospino. “Our successes have come with some challenges with the amount of growth and interest we have seen. For example, we initially had 56 students preparing to compete at the state competitions, but unfortunately we only had funding for 19 students to attend. Next year we hope to have the funding for all of our participants to have the chance to compete.”

Award for Largest Postsecondary Chapter. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

Award for Largest Postsecondary Chapter. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

The students who are national qualifiers representing USF will now advance to the HOSA 39th International Leadership Conference being held in Nashville, Tenn., June 22-25.

More than 9,000 delegates will gather together to compete in one of HOSA’s 56 competitive events, engage in professional and leadership development, network with government and private sector leaders, attend an exposition with nearly 100 companies and educational institutions and connect with other future health professionals.

For more information about USF’s HOSA: Future Health Professionals, visit their website.

Story by Elizabeth Dunn, USF College of Public Health

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