HOSA Tackles State

Seven students make it to internationals in Orlando this summer


photo provided by Liberty HOSA

Liberty HOSA students qualify for internationals and pose for a quick picture at the conference.

Emily Barnett, Reporter

On March 25-26, Liberty students who take part in the National Program known as HOSA (Future Health Professionals) attended a leadership conference at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri.  

There were 1,353 students in total and many chapter advisors who attended the conference.  The top three medalists in each of the 56 competitive events and all qualifiers in eight recognition events have an opportunity to attend the HOSA International Leadership Conference held in Orlando on June 19-22.

This year’s state theme was “Define Your Purpose – Chart Your Course” which guided the focus of the conference around professional opportunities through the educational symposium which included a selection of presentations and vendors. Competitive events were categorized into health science and professions events, emergency preparedness, leadership, teamwork and recognition events.   

Senior Lanni Guffey whose goal is to become a physician one day, won her event In Healthy Lifestyle and advanced to internationals this summer.

“My favorite part about state was meeting new people and getting closer with other people in our chapter. I was really nervous about my competition, but I think I did well,” Guffey said.

Guffey was one of the seven Liberty students who medaled in their events and qualified for internationals.  The other students who medalled include: Josh Geisler, Lauren McDonell, Aubrey McCain, Sarvani Kunapareddy, Kailey Cain and Cassidy Widlowski. Widlowski, who actually qualified through a recognition event instead of a competitive event, received the Gold Level of the Barbara James Service Award for completing over 250 community service hours related to health.    

While not all students advanced to internationals, all members attending took part in the competition and enjoyed the experience.

“I’ve been with the club (HOSA) since freshman year and everyone in the club is just fun,” says Lauren Spakowski who is involved, although she does not look to pursue a career in the medical field. “I liked getting to meet new people from other schools and play Mario Kart with my friends when we weren’t competing.”

“Overall, I think the students competed very well,” says Mrs. Strathman who sponsors Liberty’s HOSA.