“One of my favorite things ever is to be there as first-year members experience their first SLC- I tell them they won’t be disappointed- and they never are.” These words were written in an email message sent by one of the advisors following our 37th PENN HOSA State Leadership Conference (SLC) held March 9-11, 2016 at the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center. PENN HOSA continues to hold this yearly conference with the goal of offering all attendees numerous experiences that will enrich their personal and professional growth.

Our 746 secondary students and twenty seven (27) postsecondary students registered to serve in one of three capacities; Chapter Voting/Alternate Delegates; Event Assistants; Competitors. The seventy seven (77) 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 titled PENN HOSA Leadership Academy (PHLA), patterned after the national HOSA Leadership Academy
  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 2016-2017 PENN HOSA Executive Council team:

President: Christina Rudderow, Berks CTC-East Campus, Advisor Maureen Longenecker

Vice President: Kyle Bresnan, Archbishop Wood High School, Advisor Dr. Joseph Gerald Halloran

Secretary: Bailey Wright, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Advisor, Michele Dominic

Historian: Jordy Atencia, Franklin Learning Center, Advisor, Jessica Way

Serving as the Officer Coordinator for the year 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. Donna Pavlovic, past Officer Coordinator, and Marcus Henderson worked closely with the Executive Council team at this year’s conference.

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 100 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 and can be found on our State Website at All competitive event winners are eligible to attend the 39th HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Nashville, Tennessee, June 22-25, 2016. At the ILC Pennsylvania will sponsor the competitive event of Job Seeking Skills 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 ILC.

Eighteen (18) educational, product knowledge and fundraising company representatives introduced the attendees to their areas of expertise. Traveling from as far away as Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, and Maryland and as close as Hershey, Reading, State College, Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Oakdale, Pennsylvania, the exhibitors spent a fulfilling 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 soft skills while enjoying an exchange of information.

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

“We All Have A Story OR #Umatter”, presented by Melissa Ann Hopely, Public Speaker and Author of “The People You Meet in Real Life”, shared her personal story of years of battling mental health issues, self-doubt and bullying and how she found support and help. Melissa shared her story to let students know their story matters and they are not alone.

“PENN HOSA Leadership Academy (PHLA) – Speaking Skills” saw our current PENN HOSA Officer team offering students the opportunity to interact with the current PENN HOSA Officers and discover the fun in leadership through an interactive presentation on speaking skills. Members were encouraged to express their vision for HOSA by sharing ideas with fellow members from all over the state. PHLA focused on helping student members grow as a student, as a leader, and as a HOSA member overall. Participants were awarded an awesome certificate along with a whole new perspective on leadership.

“PENN HOSA Leadership Academy – How to Become a State Officer & Innovate, Inspire, Ignite Your Local Chapter”. Led by the current PENN HOSA Officer team student members were helped to unlock their inner leadership potential. In this session members delved into topics on how to become a state officer and to explore the path to inspiring, igniting, and innovating as a leader of HOSA. With plenty of fun icebreakers, games, and prizes, the officers educated HOSA members on leadership while having a good time. Certificates were given to all members in attendance.

The 2015-2016 PENN HOSA Executive Council members were: 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 HS, Advisor Dr. Joseph Gerald Halloran; Eastern Regional Vice President Steven Filby, Berks CTC-East, Advisor Mae Endy; Western Regional Vice President Bailey Wright, Carbon Career &Technical Institute, Advisor Michele Dominic; Secretary Maria Ortiz Ortiz, TCHS Pennocks Bridge, Advisor Virginia White; and Historian Destiny Davalos, Mastbaum HS, Advsior Olga Torres.

“A Brief Introduction to Herbal Medicine” presented by Karen Narkevic, Director, UPHCSA, offered facts on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and how their use is becoming more popular and accepted by a large majority of the United States population. Specific information was shared on herbal medicine and the medicinal use of herbs. Participants had the opportunity to make a form of herbal medicine to take with them.

“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.

“How I survived Necrotizing Fasciitis (aka Flesh Eating Bacteria)” was presented by Lisa Landis-Blowers, WJTL Radio Host; KCB Creator & Host. Shared through words and pictures Lisa fascinated her audience as she recanted how her summer vacation resulted in thirteen (13) surgeries in one month, a one-month hospital stay and several months recouping at home. Lisa kept her audience on the edge of their seats while sharing her terrifying battle with this unexpected health event.

“Applying and Interviewing for A Job – Do’s and Don’ts”. Presenters Grace Vazquez, Country Meadows Director of Career Outreach and Kathy Kissinger, Country Meadows HR Employment Manager gave useful tips on the stressful aspects of preparing for and finding a job and how to convince a company that you are the best qualified candidate for the job. Various topics addressed and discussed included resume writing, filling out an application and preparing for an interview, types of questions that might be asked during an interview, the expectations when interviewing for a job, and the qualities employers are seeking from candidates. This interactive presentation provided our members with a more directed approach for use in their future job interviews.

“Learning to Care for Those in Harm’s Way” provided an introduction to admission requirements, military service requirements and the unique comradery that is created within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), a unique place to attend medical school as it allows the medical student to care for a very special population of active duty personal, their families and retirees. Presenter 2d Lt Elizabeth Okonek, 3rd year medical student at USUHS, also talked about the one of a kind 4th year medical student event called Bushmaster and other exceptional operational experiences USUHS students can participate in during their training. The unique school is home to a blended student population consisting of students with prior service, military academy graduates, ROTC graduates and individuals with no prior service. USUHS curriculum aims to create not only well rounded and knowledgeable physicians but also military officers who have the potential to deploy to combat zones, deploy on humanitarian missions, participate in teaching and research, as well as hold high level leadership positions within the military healthcare system.

Our Opening Session witnessed some innovative methods by the Executive Council team as they enhanced 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: Innovate, Inspire, Ignite were given by Kathleen Bello, PENN HOSA, Inc., Board Chair, and Janet Nelson, PENN HOSA Executive Director/State Advisor.

Our Keynote Speaker, Nick Scott, shared an inspirational message centered on “Ignite the Fire Within”. Once an average high school student with a place on the football team and a love of athletics, Nick’s life was changed in an instant when he emerged severely injured from the wreckage that used to be his vehicle. He suddenly found himself paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair. All of his hopes and dreams were replaced by decisions of how to survive from day to day. He lived through near homelessness, hopelessness and helplessness until he made the decision to live life to the fullest and went from a state of disability to ability. He now achieves goals once thought far out of reach. His incredible journey puts him in the position to motivate everyone who hears his story. Nick’s message inspired the conference attendees to pursue their dreams by igniting their passion for life as they concentrate on entering the health field.

Additionally, four (4) officer candidates gave their campaign speeches before the members were dismissed from the Opening Session 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 two (2) speakers addressed issues pertinent to the members. Kathleen Bello, PENN HOSA, Inc., Board Chair, spoke about the importance of each person’s role at the conference and gave further words of encouragement. Michael Leader, President and CEO of Country Meadows Retirement Communities and Penn HOSA Foundation Board member, shared information about the scholarships being awarded by the Foundation.

Certificates of Recognition were awarded for:

  • 100% Chapter Membership (62 chapters)
  • Barbara James Service Award for Volunteering 50+ hours (36 members)
  • Charters presented to new chapters affiliating with HOSA-Future Health Professionals (4)
  • HOSA Happenings: Multimedia Chapter Communications Event (4 chapters)
  • National Service Project- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (26 chapters)
  • Penn HOSA Foundation Scholarship Donations (29 chapters); Michael Leader, President and CEO of Country
  • Meadows Retirement Communities and Penn HOSA Foundation Board member, presented certificates

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

Tricia Evans York Technical Institute-Lancaster Campus 10

Steven Filby, PENN HOSA Eastern Regional Vice President 2015-16, was selected by his fellow officers to receive the honor of Outstanding State Leader. Presented annually this award recognizes one officer for his/her commitment to HOSA and outstanding leadership during time in office. Steven will attend the 39th HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC) and be recognized on the international level for his leadership skills.

This year PENN HOSA had the honor of presenting Outstanding HOSA Advisor recognition awards to a local chapter advisor in the Secondary division and in the Postsecondary division. Secondary division recognition was awarded to Olga Torres, local chapter advisor from Mastbaum High School. In addition to her responsibilities as a local chapter advisor, Olga serves as the Philadelphia citywide HOSA advisor and was the recipient of the Lindback Distinguished Teacher Award, the highest award given to teachers by the School District of Philadelphia in recognition of her continuous efforts and dedication to the students at Mastbaum High School as well as the entire city of Philadelphia. Most recently she served as the local chapter advisor for Destiny Davalos, PENN HOSA Historian. And in the postsecondary division Angie Kann, local chapter advisor for the York Technical Institute-York Campus, was honored for her outstanding service and dedication to HOSA and her chapter members. Since joining HOSA Angie has worked tirelessly to help her postsecondary members overcome some personal barriers and challenges as they share HOSA’s message in their school and the community at large. Her members place consistently at State and National Conferences. And most recently Angie received recognition at her school for saving the life of a gentleman. Both advisors will receive additional recognition at the ILC in Nashville, Tennessee.

Being told you’re appreciated is one of the simplest and most uplifting things a person can hear. So very simply PENN HOSA extends our deepest appreciation 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;
  • PENN HOSA, Inc., Board members for offering supportive, innovative ideas to keep us moving forward;
  • PENN HOSA local chapter advisors for leading by example when the going gets challenging;
  • 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 continue to make 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, the ferns adorning the stage and for manning a flower stand at the conference;
  • Cumberland Perry local chapter advisors and student members who transported the ferns;
  • 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;
  • Executive Council members for encouraging senior members to join the growing number of HOSA Alumni;
  • Advisors to the Executive Council team for supporting their respective officer throughout the year and especially during the conference;
  • Eighty three (83) advisors and seventeen (17) 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+ (60+) local chapter advisors serving as Event Managers; without your support and willingness to share your expertise, time and talents our competitors would not have the opportunity to experience competition on this level;
  • One (1) student member who sang the National Anthem respectfully and beautifully at our three General Sessions;
  • Four (4) 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”;
  • Five (5) volunteer personnel and one (1) Tabulations Coordinator for running Tabulations;
  • One (1) national HOSA staff member helping in 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, encouraging and flexible in his role;
  • Conference photographer for taking photos and producing a memorable conference video;
  • Coordinator of Exhibitors and Event Assistants;
  • Coordinator of the many symposia;
  • Five (5) student members serving in the innovative position of Symposia Ambassadors;
  • Certificate Coordinator;
  • 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 educational 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 37th State Leadership Conference, our members have been able to experience innovative ideas and activities which served to inspire them to be ignited about a future in health care. For some, the fire within will be used to continue preparations for attendance at the International Leadership Conference in Tennessee. For others that same fire will spur them to doing even bigger and better things with HOSA. And for those members continuing to make their dreams of becoming future health professionals, that same fire will be evidenced as they share their passion and love of the health field with those around them. Why just read about the fun and excitement our members have at SLC? Start making plans now to attend PENN HOSA’s 38th State Leadership Conference and experience first-hand what HOSA-Future Health Professionals is all about!