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Valley students fare well at HOSA national conference

Tess Jankovsky
Special to the Post Independent

In June, 13 students from around the Valley attended a week-long national conference for the Health Occupation Students of America, known as HOSA, in Atlanta. The conference included more than 3,500 secondary and post-secondary students from more than 40 states.

The HOSA chapters comprise high school juniors and seniors who are involved or who have been students in the districtwide Med-Prep program. A medical version of DECA, HOSA attempts to provide high school students with further knowledge of and preparation for careers in the medical field.

This past year, 39 students from Glenwood Springs, Roaring Fork and Basalt high schools were members of this organization through the Roaring Fork Med-Prep program.



HOSA exists at both state and national levels. At the state level, two conferences are held each year: one for leadership training, while the other focuses on competitive skills. For a student to qualify for the national conference, he or she must place among the top three in a particular event. This spring, 18 local students qualified for the national competition.

In addition to competitive events, which extend through three days of the conference, HOSA nationals also includes a training and team-building session for state officers and additional educational opportunities, including observation of an autopsy.



This year, two of Colorado’s state officers come from the Re-1 Med-Prep program: Kayleigh Gates is the 2003 state president, and Shandra Knight is the first vice president. Both Gates and Knight attended the conference, participating in the officer training and a competitive event.

The more than 40 competitions fall into four categories.

The first category includes 10 events related to health occupations and includes tests in areas such as dental terminology, medical math or medical spelling.

Amanda Bruce, of Glenwood, competed in Medical Terminology, a Category I event, and placed 10th among students from around the nation.

The largest of the four divisions, Category II consists of health occupation skills events, differing from the Category I competitions in that the students take a test and perform a judged skill, such as tasks of a veterinary assistant or the appropriate response procedure for a first aid emergency.

Five local students took part in Category II events.

Four of these five competed as two pairs in the CPR/First Aid event. Mija Holtzman and Tess Jankovsky, both from Glenwood, placed fourth out of about 70 other pairs.

Cody Hillin and Jake Velasquez, the second pair from Glenwood, were also finalists in this event, placing eighth overall.

The fifth local student in a Category II event was Travis Haynes, of Basalt, who participated in the physical therapy event.

Glenwood also had representation in Category III, which is composed of individual leadership events.

In job-seeking skills, an event that involves an interview, a judged resume and a job application, Promise Bauers placed 10th.

Sadie Thimsen, also of Glenwood, participated in another Category III event, placing fifth in Prepared Speaking.

Category IV is made up of team leadership events.

A group of five Roaring Fork School District students, including Michelle French of Carbondale, and Katie Daniels, Kayleigh Gates, Shandra Knight and German Gil, all of Glenwood, took part in the creative problem solving competition.

Tess Jankovsky is a 2003 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School.


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