Updated: Mar 12
By: MMACHS Staff
"HOSA is our football" is a phrase you will hear a lot when MMACHS students are describing the building's culture. While the school of just under 200 students might not have any sports (students can participate in athletics at their home high school), many Guardian Knights still have an outlet for the competitive side of their personalities, and that outlet is HOSA.
What is HOSA?
HOSA: Future Health Professionals is one of seven Career Technical Student Organizations recognized by the Department of Education, and the program plays a huge role in preparing students in their journey towards a career in the healthcare field, primarily through competitive events. Members can choose from five different event categories: Health Science, Health Career, Emergency Preparedness, Leadership, and Teamwork. Each category has multiple competitions for students to select from that correspond to the category's theme, and in total there are 53 different events. MMACHS HOSA members are expected to participate in two events annually, and can change which event they compete in every year.
There are three levels of competitions, the Regional Leadership Conference, the State Leadership Conference, and the International Leadership Conference. All MMACHS HOSA members in good academic standing compete in the first two, while those who place in the top three in their event at the State Leadership Conference receive invites to participate at ILC, held every June in different metropolitan areas around the United States. The conferences also offer opportunities to learn at academic symposiums, meet individuals currently working in different healthcare fields, and network with students from other schools, states, and countries who share their college and career goals.
Historically, MMACHS has been a force to be reckoned with in Idaho HOSA, owing to the fact that the school's mission of preparing future health professionals aligns perfectly with the organization's own vision. At this year's 22nd annual State Leadership conference, the first to be held outside the Treasure Valley, MMACHS lived up to that reputation.
The 2023 Idaho State Leadership Conference
In total, 122 Guardian Knights made the trip to Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho from March 8th to March 10th to show off their skills. MMACHS represented 15% of the conference's overall attendance, even though they were only one of 40+ state chapters competing, and the results were something the school could be proud of.
MMACHS students placed in the top three in 28 different events, taking home 85 medals in total and earning 25% of the possible podium spots at the competition. Of particular note were the large number of freshmen members who walked away having qualified for the International Leadership Conference, no small accomplishment and one that bodes well for the program's future.
This year's conference was unique in a number of ways. Aside from being the first year that required intra-state travel, it was also the first year that health-science teacher Jessica Kerns served in an advisor role for the Guardian Knights, having been an advisor in the Boise School District beforehand. "My first experience with MMACHS as a HOSA advisor was incredible" said Kerns. "MMACHS is truly something special, and I feel like I'm privileged to have (co-advisor) Gaudet, the members, and the staff to go to SLC with. I cannot wait for ILC and next year's SLC."
Chapter President and Senior, Ananya Vinnamala, was also encouraged by the success of her peers. After taking home first place with her teammates in HOSA Bowl, she reflected on what it means to be a leader in this program. "I am so proud of our MMACHS chapter. I've seen how much work everyone has put in and it has obviously paid off. What I loved most was how much of a family we were. It was an honor to be the president of MMACHS HOSA this year and I cannot wait to see how our team does at ILC!"
State HOSA Executive Team
This year's SLC was also notable given the election of the new Idaho State HOSA Executive Team. Each year a new President, President-Elect, and several Regional Vice Presidents are sworn into office after winning their respective elections. Every chapter in attendance is awarded two voting delegates, who after listening to speeches and conversing with candidates throughout the conference, vote for these state-level leadership positions. At this year's ceremony, outgoing President Madison Healy (MMACHS Class of '22) handed the gavel over to the new President, Elijah Zimmerman (MMACHS '24). Three more Guardian Knights earned state officer positions, including President-Elect Jentri Van Ackern ('24), Regional Vice President Alexis Black ('24), and Regional Vice President Noor Abdulkareem ('25). In total, MMACHS members will now make up 2/3 of the state leadership team.
Next up, students will begin preparing for the 2023 International Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. Any Guardian Knights that choose to attend will spend five days meeting people from all over the world, competing against champions from other states and countries, and enjoying everything the Lone Star State has to offer.
Victory at ILC is a huge accomplishment, as is simply placing within the Top 10 (known as "making stage") when everyone competing has already placed in their State or National Leadership Conferences. Those attending will be starting their fundraising efforts this month.
Tradition Never Graduates
Next year's State Leadership Conference will also be at Idaho State University, where students will not only compete but enjoy the company of their friends and teammates. It will be exciting to see how this year's underclassmen build on their experience, and how they'll help pass the HOSA tradition on to next year's incoming students. Below you can find a full list of events and how MMACHS placed in each.
Behavioral Health - 3rd place
Biomedical Debate - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
Community Awareness - 1st place
CERT - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
Clinical Speciality - 2nd place
CPR / First Aid - 1st and 2nd place
Creative Problem Solving - 2nd place
Cultural Diversity and Disparity - 3rd place
Dental Terminology - 3rd place
Epidemiology - 2nd and 3rd place
Extemporaneous Writing - 1st place
Health Education - 1st place
Health Informatics - 1st place
HOSA Bowl - 1st place
Job Seeking Skills - 2nd place
Medical Assisting - 3rd place
Medical Innovation - 3rd place
Medical Law and Ethics - 1st and 3rd place
Medical Reading - 2nd place
Mental Health Promotion - 1st and 3rd place
MRC Partnership - 2nd place
Parliamentary Procedure - 1st and 2nd place
Pathophysiology - 1st place
Physical Therapy - 2nd place
Prepared Speaking - 3rd place
Public Health - 1st and 2nd place
Public Service Announcement - 1st and 2nd place
Research Persuasive Writing and Speaking - 3rd place