New club offers opportunities to students in health fields

Amanda Bryant

A new club has been added to the UK community. Health Occupations Students of America, nicknamed HOSA, is a club for health-oriented professional students from middle school to college alumni.

The UK chapter of this club had its first meeting on Sept. 11.

“The mission of HOSA is to empower HOSA-Future Health Professionals to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration and experience,” as mentioned in the meeting.

HOSA was founded in 1976 and has grown to over 200,000 members, according to the website. The club is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Pre-med biology sophomore Lyndsey Armes is the presiding president of HOSA at UK.

“HOSA really got its start at UK when I was talking to my high school HOSA adviser, Bridget Shartzer, about my experience here at UK and all of the pre-medicine clubs that I am involved with,” Armes said.

Armes was president of the HOSA chapter at her high school and felt the need to continue the club at UK.

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized HOSA would be a great way to bring people with a variety of different medical interests together,” Armes said.

One of her biology professors, Claire O’Quin, helped her find an adviser for the club, UK biology lecturer Karla Lightfield. They then worked with the UK student organizations office and the HOSA state adviser.

The club is open to any student and offers opportunities to compete at the state level in skills such as forensic medicine, public speaking and first aid skill, as well as the ability to network with health care professionals and do volunteer outreaches, according to Armes.

Pre-pharmacy biology sophomore Lauren Auteri is the HOSA Community Service Chairperson and HOSA DanceBlue team captain. She said she joined HOSA to become more involved with the community centered on health care. Auteri is new to HOSA because her high school did not have a chapter.

“I am so excited to begin meeting other pre-health students and serving the community with them,” Auteri said. “I have only been a member of the organization for about a month now, but being an officer has already expanded my confidence and leadership skills.”

Armes said the first meeting had 150 attendees. HOSA has some upcoming events, including volunteering at the National Alliance on Mental Illness walk and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in October.

HOSA not only helps students make friends and volunteer; it also offers opportunities for internships. Armes said HOSA offers internships through the Office of the Surgeon General and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in Washington D.C.

Yearly dues for HOSA members are $30. Meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month in room 106 of Whitehall.