KHS Sending 5 Scholars to State Healthcare Competition

HOSA students overcome last-minute obstacles

Kearney, Mo., February 25, 2022: Kearney High School continues to demonstrate that it knows how to educate the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Five KHS scholars have qualified to compete in the second round of the HOSA State Leadership Conference on March 28-29 in Rolla, Mo. Along with their event categories, these students include:

  • Gracie Bomar (Clinical Nursing)
  • Alayna Dostal (Medical Spelling)
  • Daniel Nelson (Veterinary Science)
  • Abby Smith (Physical Therapy)
  • Abby Harper (Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking)

HOSA is an international student organization created to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of care to all people. Students study different facets of healthcare and then demonstrate their expertise during knowledge and skill competitions at state, national and international events.

This year’s competition was complicated by the fact that there were last-minute changes made by the organizers, which meant that the students only had about 10 days to prepare for their events, according to HOSA Sponsor Kelsey Colwell. The first round included rigorous testing and writing an extensive essay related to their competition category.

“This is my first year as head sponsor, so when you throw in major changes to the HOSA state competition, this has been an extremely large learning curve for me. There were some big changes in the format of the state competition that were shared in late January and it threw myself, as well as the students, a huge curveball,” Ms. Colwell said. “These students have worked hard, overcoming many challenges, to earn these spots!”

Students who reach the second round of HOSA competition have an opportunity to qualify for the HOSA International Leadership Conference in June. KSD sent two students to the international event last year and has had similar success in previous years.

In addition to preparing for and participating in competitions, HOSA members volunteer for healthcare-related activities like blood drives and a bone marrow match awareness campaign. HOSA’s extracurricular activities buttress the academic Healthcare Pathway that is embedded in KSD’s Real World Learning initiative.

“HOSA is a great example of why it’s so important to provide these types of extracurricular experiences for students,” said Colwell, who teaches anatomy and Project Lead the Way biomedical science classes at the high school. “It’s a spark. You can really start to see them getting excited about healthcare. They’re able to have fun, build relationships and use what they are learning in school.”