Memorable experience; friendships; educational; fun; food; learning; stressful; engaging; these are just a few of the words that PENN HOSA students responded with when asked about their recent experience at our 36th PENN HOSA State Leadership Conference (SLC) held March 11-13 at the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center.  The yearly conference is held to offer multiple experiences to all attendees that will help in their personal and professional growth.

Our 815 secondary students and thirty two (32) postsecondary students registered to serve in one of three capacities; Chapter Voting/Alternate Delegates; Event Assistants; Competitors.  The ninety one (91) Delegates were chosen to represent their local chapters at the State Leadership Conference.  The delegates are an exclusive group and have the following responsibilities at the conference:

  1. Screening and electing state officers for the following year
  2. Participating in Leadership Development activities; the current State officers held two (2) symposia
  3. Serving on one of four committees, Ceremonial, Bylaws,  Leadership Skills and Public Relations/News Media, and presenting  recommendations at the House of Delegates’ Session
  4. Voting on issues that may come before the assembly
  5. Presenting a chapter report during the Voting Delegates’ Business Session
  6. Upon return to class, presenting to his/her local chapter an informative report of what transpired at the conference

The Delegates elected the following officers to serve as the 2015-16 PENN HOSA Executive Council team:

President:  Keerthana Samanthapudi, North Allegheny Intermediate High School, Advisor Robyn Kulchock

Vice President:   James Babinetz, Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, Advisor Marsha Moyer

Central Regional Vice President:  Kyle Bresnan, Archbishop Wood High School, Advisor Louise Ciabarra

Eastern Regional Vice President:  Steven Filby, Berks Career & Technology Center-East, Advisor Maureen Longenecker

Western Regional Vice President: Bailey Wright, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Advisor, Michele Dominic

Secretary:  Maria Ortiz Ortiz, TCHS Pennock’s Bridge, Advisor AnneMarie McCauley

Historian:  Destiny Davalos, Mastbaum High School, Advisor Olga Torres

Serving as the Officer Coordinator is Maureen Longenecker, local chapter advisor from Berks Career and Technology Center-East Campus.  Marcus Henderson, 2012-2013 PENN HOSA State President, serves as the Assistant to the Officer Coordinator.

Forty four (44) student members served as Event Assistants.  An Event Assistant either assists the Event Manager or role plays a patient/victim for a Skill Event or helps in various positions with advisors or works as a liaison between Conference Headquarters and Tabulations.  An Event Assistant’s responsibility begins at the event orientation and concludes when dismissed by the conference personnel.

Two intense days occurred during which the secondary and postsecondary competitors tested their skills and knowledge in one of the forty six (46) health related competitive events offered.  These events presented our members the chance to compete as individuals or collaboratively as teams.  Additionally 116 competitors also registered to take the Healthcare Issues Exam.  The culmination of the competitors’ efforts was realized at the Grand Awards Session.  A comprehensive listing of all winners is attached with this report.  All competitive event winners are eligible to attend the 38th HOSA National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Anaheim, California, June 24-27, 2015. At the NLC Pennsylvania will sponsor the competitive event of Home Health Aide and state event personnel will be assigned to participate in the event process.  As a member of the HOSA National Competitive Event Leadership team, PENN HOSA Executive Director/State Advisor Janet Nelson will complete her eighth year of involvement where she holds the position of Chairperson for the Health Science and Recognition Events.  Several of our state officers, members and local chapter advisors have registered to attend various Leadership Universities offered at the NLC.

Eighteen (18) educational, product knowledge and fundraising company representatives introduced the attendees to their areas of expertise.  Traveling from as far away as Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, and as close as Hershey, State College, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Oakdale, Pennsylvania, the exhibitors spent a full day interacting with our members and guests while sharing valuable information.  The networking with the exhibitors gave our conference attendees the experience of developing their communication and leadership skills while enjoying an exchange of information.

Eight (8) one-hour long educational symposia with a wide array of topics offered a myriad of choices to our attendees.  Symposia opened to both students and advisors included:

“A Recipe for Living”, presented by Kathleen Bello, PENN HOSA, Inc., Board Chair, offered the participants, through an informative and hopeful documentary, the chance to hear Kathy’s personal and poignant story that began 29 years ago with her diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“Becoming a State Officer 101”, presented by our current PENN HOSA State Officers, revealed what it’s like to be a State officer as each officer shared his/her experiences about running for State office, being elected and their duties and responsibilities in a fun and engaging way.

“Break the Ice”, presented by our current PENN HOSA State Officers, involved the participants in several ice breakers that were a sure-fire way to get people mingling and would work to put some energy into their next HOSA chapter meetings.

“The Friendly Side of Technology”, presented by Diane Yeager, CEO of EHR Tutor, exposed the participants to Student Engagement in a Changing World: Using Academic EHRs, Polling and Online Activities! Advisors were engaged in activities that can be used in their classrooms and labs.

“Memory Power for Health Education”, presented by Dean Vaughn, Author, DCM/Instructional Systems and President, Dean Vaughn Learning Systems, Inc., published by Peterson’s®, a Nelnet® company., offered participants methods to memorize material and the ability to apply it to all phases of occupational and professional achievement.   Dean Vaughn is the world’s leading author of applied memory programs for a wide range of subjects. His total retention courses for allied health education have revolutionized the teaching of medical terminology and basic human anatomy.

“Fundamentals of Dental Education – The Anatomy of a Tooth”, presented by Bob Maddestra Jr., M.A.Ed., National Sales Director, Peterson’s, a Nelnet Company, introduced participants to the Fundamentals of Dental Education and taught how to learn and easily remember the names and locations of the parts of a tooth. The Dean Vaughn Total Retention System™ is a highly effective system of instruction that accommodates multiple learning styles and teaches students how to remember course content.

“Essential Spanish Vocabulary for Health Occupations and Professions” was the second symposium presented by Dean Vaughn.  Dean introduced his newest applied memory course, Essential Spanish Vocabulary for Health Occupations and Professions, where students and advisors participated in a segment of the program and learned one new Spanish word per minute! This course is incredibly valuable for everyone in the healthcare field because by knowing the 400 Spanish vocabulary words presented in the program, the employee’s value to any employer will be dramatically enhanced!

“Resources and Technology to Design and Develop Engaging Lessons”, presented by Ernie Wake from Training Masters, instructed advisors/educators how to create presentations for use with the Classroom Remote Response Systems using ready-made templates. Advisors/educators learned how to embed questions in their instruction in order to: increase student engagement, review, assess, and validate that learning has occurred. Benefits reaped from the presentation included learning how to create presentations for use in the classroom to help students prepare for their end of program assessment known as the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute Assessment (NOCTI), how to create a databank of questions for use with the KlickerZ system and how to record student performance and use results to guide instruction.

Our Opening Session saw new initiatives by the Executive Council team as they designed a stage set that contributed to a more professional appearance and presented the officers opportunities to run the session with efficiency, professionalism and creativity.  Contributing encouraging words based on the National theme of HOSA:LEAD! were Kathleen Bello, PENN HOSA, Inc., Board Chair, and Janet Nelson, PENN HOSA Executive Director/State Advisor.   Our Keynote Speaker, Ryan Moran, engaged the assembly of HOSA members and guests as he shared an inspirational message centered on “The POSSE”. POSSE is an acronym (be Positive, be Open, be Sincere, have Spirit, and don’t be Exclusive) that gives students a way of thinking and behaving that will allow them to make their school, community, organization, etc. a better place. And ten (10) officer candidates gave their campaign speeches before the members were dismissed to attend competitive event orientations and committee meetings.

The purpose of the Recognition Session is to bring acknowledgement to individuals and chapters for their accomplishments with HOSA-Future Health Professionals.  At this session three (3) speakers addressed issues pertinent to the members.  Margaret Rivello, Penn HOSA Foundation Board Chair, shared information about the scholarships being awarded by the Foundation.  Hannah Reagan, Campaign Manager, School & Youth, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Eastern PA Chapter, spoke about the work the Society is doing to make their theme of “Someday is Today” become a reality of finding more cures for blood cancers.  And Sarah Park, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2014 Girl of the Year, spoke candidly about her diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and how this has made her more passionate to help others with the same condition.  These presentations helped our members understand more about our HOSA National Service Project with LLS.  A monetary donation in excess of $200.00 was presented to Hannah from the local chapter advisors.

Certificates of Recognition were awarded for:

  • 100% Chapter Membership (52 chapters)
  • Barbara James Service Award for Volunteering 25+ hours (45 members)
  • Charters presented to new chapters affiliating with HOSA-Future Health Professionals (8)
  • HOSA Happenings: Multimedia Chapter Communications Event (5 chapters)
  • National Service Project- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (20 chapters); Hannah Reagan and Sarah Park, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society representatives, presented certificates
  • Penn HOSA Foundation Scholarship Donations (28 chapters); Margaret Rivello, Penn HOSA Foundation Board Chair, presented certificates

Appreciation to local chapter Advisors for their years of service to PENN HOSA was awarded to the following advisors:

Rosemary Barakat Delaware County Technical High School 5
Mary Barr Lancaster County CTC 5
Nelleke Beats McCaskey East High School 5
Keith Davis A. Phillip Randolph Career & Technical HS 5
Michelle Foland Cumberland Perry AVTS 5
Cindy Heil Lehigh Career & Technical Institute 5
Megan Kelly Paul Robeson High School for Human Services 5
Kathy Lauver Cumberland Perry AVTS 5
Maryanne Neal State College Area High School 5
Donna Pavlovic Lehigh Career & Technical Institute 15

Chris Quaglia, PENN HOSA State President 2014-15, was selected by his fellow officers to receive the honor of Outstanding State Leader.  This award is presented annually to one officer in recognition of his/her commitment to HOSA and outstanding leadership during time in office.

Outstanding HOSA Advisor, Secondary division, was awarded to Mary Makuta, local chapter advisor from Hazleton Area Career Center.  Among her many accomplishments, Mary  helped to establish one of the first health career programs in the state of Pennsylvania and worked collaboratively to build articulation agreements with local hospitals, long term care facilities and assisted living centers. She currently serves as Category Chair for Teamwork and Recognition Events on the PENN HOSA SLC Competitive Events Committee. Additional recognition will be awarded at the NLC in Anaheim, California.

In the words of Harvey Mackay, “None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.”  Following in the words of this very appropriate quote, PENN HOSA extends our sincere appreciation and thanks to the following:

  • Administrators for supporting HOSA activities for members and advisors throughout the entire year and approved their attendance at the conference;
  • School support staff for working with the advisors and students;
  • PDE staff members for continuing support of PENN HOSA throughout this year;
  • PENN HOSA, Inc. Board Chairman for performing a variety of assignments during the conference;
  • Local chapter advisors for exemplifying the HOSA motto as they, in the classroom and during the conference,  enhanced the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science technology education students, therefore, helping students to meet the needs of the health care community;
  • Student members who chose to participate in the conference and received so many compliments from the hotel staff members and exhibitors for their professional appearance and politeness; you made your  advisors, schools, parents and PENN HOSA extremely proud!!;
  • Cumberland Perry AVTS Horticulture instructor and students for the beautiful boutonnieres and corsages for the officers, roses for the advisor recognition and for manning a flower stand at the conference;
  • Cumberland Perry Warehouse instructor and students for storing our event boxes;
  • Our Co-Treasurer for handling the financial aspects of the conference;
  • Executive Council team and their Officer Coordinator and Assistant to the Officer Coordinator for greeting members and guests and conducting successful sessions, committee meetings and symposia;
  • Advisors to the Executive Council team for supporting their respective officer throughout the year and especially during the conference;
  • Ninety one (91) advisors and twenty one (21) chaperones who took their roles seriously and supervised the students;
  • School Directors, Penn HOSA Foundation, Inc. Board members and special honored guests attending our sessions;
  • Co-Director of Competitive Events for outstanding preparation and follow through of a successful competitive events’ component of the conference;
  • Category Chairs on the Competitive Events Leadership Committee for your commitment and support before, during and after the conference;
  • Sixty seven (67) local chapter advisors serving as Event Managers; without your support and willingness to share your expertise, time and talents, we could not hold the competitive events;
  • One (1) student who sang the National Anthem respectfully and beautifully at our Opening and Grand Awards Sessions;
  • One (1) student who beautifully sang God Bless America at our Recognition session;
  • Ten (10) officer candidates and their advisors who assisted and supported them throughout the application process;
  • Three (3) volunteers in Headquarters who assisted our attendees “behind the scene”;
  • Three (3) volunteer personnel and one (1) Tabulations Coordinator for running Tabulations;
  • Two (2) Competitive Events Set-up personnel;
  • One (1) PDE Program Specialist;
  • Special speakers at our corporate meeting;
  • Several alumni members assisting in various roles;
  • 120 volunteer judges for the competitive event competitions;
  • Keynote Speaker and Special Speakers at our sessions;
  • Grand Awards announcer for being enthusiastic and flexible in his role;
  • Conference photographer for taking photos and producing a memorable conference video;
  • Coordinator of Exhibitors and Event Assistants;
  • Event Manager Coordinator;
  • Manager of our HOSA store;
  • Bingo announcer;
  • PENN HOSA Idol judges;
  • Conference Registrar;
  • Educational and product knowledge exhibitors;
  • Everyone who served as a presenter during one of the symposia;
  • The very helpful staff at the Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center for working tirelessly to meet our needs;
  • Anyone who volunteered to assist “in any way possible”!

Through membership in HOSA-Future Health Professionals, and especially in regard to participation at PENN HOSA’s 36th State Leadership Conference, our members are able to dream more, learn more, and become more and they truly are the healthcare leaders of tomorrow!  For some of our members their goals of becoming contributing members of the healthcare team and their society begin as they leave one stage in their life to begin the next part of their journey.  For others, the next chapter of HOSA membership unfolds as they continue as members of this awesome student-led organization and transfer the skills and knowledge of the classroom in preparation for participation in the next PENN HOSA SLC scheduled for March 9-11, 2016. Why just read about the fun and excitement our members have at SLC?  Start making plans now to attend the conference and experience first-hand what HOSA is all about!