USF wins big at the HOSA Florida Leadership Competition

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USF College of Public Health undergraduate students in USF HOSA: Future Health Professionals took home a win in the Florida Leadership Conference, held in Orlando, April 6-9.

Students had the opportunity to shine as individuals and as a team, demonstrating both USF’s passion for creating exceptional future health professionals and the determination of the students that attend the university.

USF HOSA members at the 2017 Florida Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Rivera)

HOSA is an international student organization that has experienced exponential growth over the last few years, gaining more than 200,000 members through 51 chartered associations.

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.

The four day conference included ceremonies, orientations, competitions in 56 health-related topics, national philanthropy recognition- NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and awards.

USF’s HOSA chapter received the “Largest Post-Secondary Chapter” award for the second consecutive year with a total of 553 members.

Award for Largest Postsecondary Chapter, a title earned by USF HOSA for the second consecutive year in a row. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Rivera)

Students were graded and advanced based on their individual or team performance for each competition. State judges are included from all areas of health such as: medicine, physical therapy, nursing, emergency medicine, and public health.

USF HOSA was represented by 20 undergraduate students in 15 different competitive events bringing in 17 first, second, or third place wins and 19 placements overall.

Eleven out of the 17 first, second, or third placed individuals will be attending the International Leadership Conference in June and are ready to impress and bring home the gold.

The complete list of winners for this year include:

Biomedical Laboratory Science
Louis Leon, 1st place
Dental Science
Shaine Thomas, 4th place

Forensic Medicine
Amelia Bennett and Keanen Bafekr, 1st place

Health Career Display
Danielle Roehrs and Madelle Ferrer, 1st place

Healthy Lifestyle
Jyothi Edupuganti, 1st place

Medical Assisting
Korey White, 1st place

Medical Law and Ethics
Sebastian Pankiewicz, 1st place

Medical Math
Mahesh Tummala, 1st place

Medical Terminology
Christopher Kwiat, 5th place

Nursing Assisting
Angelica Casey, 2nd place

Ashley Brooke Shelton, 3rd place

Wallack Lezin, 3rd place

Public Health
Megan Saunders and Nourleen Goubrial, 1st place

Sports Medicine
Ashley Perry, 1st place

Transcultural Health Care
Matthew Allman, 1st place
Sierra Raines, 2nd place

USF HOSA has been recognized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education, earning a spot on the National Advisory List of contests and activities for 2015-16 and a policy statement as one of the National Career and Technical student organizations.

HOSA’s mission is critical when analyzing the shortage of qualified health professionals:

“…HOSA [aims to] enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality healthcare by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science education students, therefore, helping the students meet the needs of the healthcare community.” (National

USF HOSA also attened the International Leadership Conference in Orlando in June. Ten of 11 competitors placed on the international level in their respective competitive events:

Forensic Medicine
Amelia Bennett and Keanen Bafekr, 5th place

Health Career Display
Madelle Ferrer and Danielle Roehrs, 2nd place

Healthy Lifestyle
Jyothi Edupuganti, 1st place

Medical Law and Ethics
Sebastian Pankiewicz, 6th place
Medical Math
Mahesh Tummala, 1st place

Brooke Shelton, 8th place

Sports Medicine
Ashley Perry, 3rd place

Transcultural Health Care
Matt Allman, 1st place

“My past experience this week at the HOSA International Leadership Conference has been impeccable,” said Suzane Nazir, state vice president of HOSA and COPH public health student. “It was a special and historic conference as it marked our 40th Annual Conference and second International Leadership Conference. I had the opportunity to meet members and individuals from various parts of the nation and the globe. This truly epitomizes the diversity in the health care field. I also had the privilege to serve my state as national voting delegate and assist with conference preparation, competitive events, and workshops.”

According to Nazir, two Florida HOSA state officers, Sarah Fleischman and Irfan Khan, were elected to serve on the HOSA International Executive Council during the event.

“I’m immensely proud of my fellow USF members for advancing to our international competitive events and placing among the top in the world,” Nazir said. “Congratulations, and as always, Go Bulls! I look forward to serving our state association as state vice president for another term.”

The USF Chapter of HOSA plans on continuing the train of success, increasing retention, and helping students afford competition for the next academic year.

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


Story by Amanda Rivera, USF HOSA President and Public Health Undergraduate Student