Future Health Professionals (also known as HOSA, or Health Occupation Students of America) is an international student organization created to promote careers in a diverse range of health care occupations with the ultimate goal of enhancing the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA accomplishes this goal by providing a program that offers opportunities for students to explore the variety of health science occupations through leadership, service and competition in over 50 health care related events at state and international leadership conferences. State Leadership Conferences bring together local HOSA chapter competitors where the top three students or teams in each event are then eligible for competition at the yearly International Leadership Conference. Competitions include knowledge tests in 13 different health science topic areas; skills testing in 11 different major health professional areas; skills testing in 7 different emergency preparedness areas; skills testing in 9 different leadership skills; 10 different teamwork events; and 7 events recognizing service contributions. (see this link for a list of the specific competitions http://www.hosa.org/guidelines).
In the 40 years since its creation, HOSA has become the largest student organization focusing on health care professions in the world. There are over 200,000 middle school, secondary and collegiate members in chapters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the countries of Canada, Germany and Italy. There are almost 2000 Utah HOSA students alone. HOSA is endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Education and the Health Science Division (HSE) of the Association for Career and Technical Education. At State and International Leadership Conferences students have the opportunity to interact with thousands of like-minded peers. Because of the partnerships HOSA has developed with leaders in the health care industry, HOSA students have access to educational symposia, scholarships and internships not available to other students. HOSA also partners with STEM Premier, a service that allows students to create a STEM profile in which to showcase their accomplishments. STEM Premier, in turn, partners with a large number of colleges, universities, foundations and corporations, in presenting student profiles to institutions seeking high level applicants—this is a free service for HOSA members. In addition, HOSA offers specific programs designed for students to develop leadership skills, and student leadership opportunities exist at the local, state and national level.
Finally, HOSA is also a service organization. Every two years HOSA partners with a national health care organization to provide service hours and to fundraise for that organization. However, service is not limited to the selected health care organization, and students can earn recognition for additional time spent serving their communities. For more information about HOSA and its programs see www.hosa.org.