HOSA Future Health Professionals is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). HOSA's two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students who are enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or have interests in pursuing careers in health professions.
In 2014, the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) established the first HOSA Chapter in American Samoa, comprising only eight members, through the American Samoa Area Health Education Center (AS-AHEC), a special program under the ASCC Academic Affairs Division. The AS-AHEC Community Advisory Board, made up by local health and education professionals and chaired by Dr. Robin Faumuina, played a crucial role in the local launch of HOSA. A collaborative effort with the American Samoa Department of Education subsequently enabled the implementation of HOSA into the local high schools, which led to HOSA to expanding to its current membership of 430.
At the 2019 HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC) held last month in Orlando, Florida, American Samoa HOSA achieved special recognition for having the second-highest membership gain (61%) of all states, territories and countries in 2018-2019. American Samoa HOSA also earned distinction as the association with the highest percentage membership increase within the Western Region. “Each advisor and every member of each local chapter, including ASCC, is responsible for this milestone for the American Samoa HOSA Association.,” said ASCC HOSA Coordinator Monica Afalava.
The American Samoa chapter also encourages its members to participate in the HOSA Competitive Events Program, a constantly expanding and improving series of health care related competitive events. Competition within a state is held in the spring as a means of identifying those members eligible for competition at the HOSA ILC. This year, 11,525 students, advisors, guests and judges registered for the ICL, with a total of 9,750 students competing in 71 health science related events aligned to the National Healthcare Foundation and Accountability Criteria outlined by the National Consortium for Health Science Education.
The American Samoa HOSA delegation to the 2019 HOSA ILC consisted of nine secondary students with two advisors and one parent chaperone, as well as two ASCC students and an advisor. Mr. Darius Shimasaki-Vaofanua and Ms. Chloe Tuaua represented ASCC HOSA in the Competitive Events, under the guidance of Coordinator Monica Afalava. They competed in the Community Awareness collegiate category, which entails a service project designed to raise community awareness of a health and/or safety related issue of local, state and/or national interest. Shimasaki-Vaofanua and Tuaua developed their project ‘Grow With Change’, which focused on Suicide Awareness. ‘Grow With Change’ earned a Silver Medallion for second place, resulting in American Samoa HOSA’s first Competitive Events award at the ILC.
Formerly known as ‘Health Occupations Students of America’, HOSA overall has grown steadily, now reaching over 245,000 members through 54 chartered HOSA Associations in both national and international locations which include American Samoa, Canada, District of Columbia, Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico, and China. The official name of the organization is now HOSA-Future Health Professionals. For more information on HOSA activities at ASCC, contact Monica Afalava by email at email@example.com.