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This month, Oñate High School’s HOSA students– Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, won their third NMAA State Championship during the 2021 State Leadership Conference, held virtually.
There are 185 students in grades 9-12 enrolled in the HOSA program at Oñate High School. Students in HOSA learn lifesaving and advanced medical techniques such as CPR, first aid, administering IVs and much more.
Unlike most years, this year students had to learn virtually while school buildings closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. HOSA students still found a way to thrive and persevere earning the most medals in every category at the 2021 State Leadership Conference.
“I’m extremely proud of our students because they didn’t get the extra coaching that they would normally get,” said Michael Ogas, Oñate HOSA Advisor. “They didn’t get the extra advisors watching them do these hands-on skills. This was just their basic raw knowledge and skills that they learned in the classroom, exhibited through these competitions.”
While the pandemic kept HOSA students from fundraising to pay for membership fees and competitions, Las Cruces Public Schools covered the cost of the HOSA membership fee for all students involved in the program throughout the district.
“It would have been unfortunate to not have our HOSA students compete because fundraising was out of their control,” said LCPS interim superintendent Ralph Ramos. “To have the ability to compete is exciting, but to bring home a win is even more rewarding.”
HOSA-Future Health Professionals is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of Advance Career Technical Education (ACTE). HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare to all people. HOSA’s goal is to encourage all health occupations instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the Health Science Education-HOSA Partnership.
Students in the program strive to leave high school with skills and certification that will make them more competitive for college or going straight into the workforce upon graduation. The purpose of HOSA-Future Health Professionals is to develop leadership and technical HOSA skill competencies through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition, which is an integral part of the Health Science Education instructional program.
Ogas said in the past four years, he has had students compete internationally, ranking top 10, representing New Mexico. He thanks Mountain View Regional Medical Center and Memorial Medical Center for helping to support and train LCPS students.
“Watching students gain self-confidence in the skills that they are learning and use those skills to compete internationally, is my favorite part of what I do,” said Ogas. “It gives them validation that they are good enough to succeed in the medical field regardless of their background or what they have at home in terms of support. They are the future leaders who will help make an impact in our community.”
In addition to Oñate’s state title, several HOSA students from Las Cruces High School, Zia Middle School, Arrowhead Park Early College High School, Mayfield High School, and Zia Middle School placed top three in other categories at the 2021 Virtual State Leadership Conference. For a complete list of the winners, click here.