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PRESS RELEASE - FEBRUARY 8, 2016

HOSA
Officers of the ASCC chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) are seen here with their advisor Ms. Sailitafa Samoa (front). Back row: (l-r) Sivoki Niumataiwalu (Vice President), Rosalia Taotofi (Treasurer) and Tamara Bailey (President). (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

HOSA
Officers of the ASCC chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) are seen here with their advisor Ms. Sailitafa Samoa (front). Back row: (l-r) Sivoki Niumataiwalu (Vice President), Rosalia Taotofi (Treasurer) and Tamara Bailey (President). (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

ASCC-HOSA Hosts Historical Event in Local Healthcare Education

February 8, 2016

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

The first Territorial-Wide Induction of Health Occupation Students of America-Future Health Professionals (HOSA) took place in the Lee Auditorium in late January.  Students from local HOSA Chapters in Fagaitua, Leone, Nu'uuli Vocational Tech, Samoana and Tafuna High Schools were inducted into the HOSA-Future Health Professionals Organization in a special ceremony, and joining them were members of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) HOSA Chapter.  Dignitaries, education and health leaders, and families of the students shared in the occasion.

This historical event fulfilled the National HOSA requirement for the establishment of a HOSA American Samoa Association, which will oversee the HOSA Chapters in the secondary and post-secondary levels.  The event also highlighted HOSA's beginning in Tutuila, Manu'a and Aunu'u and the role the American Samoa Area Health Education Center (ASAHEC) and its Board in initiating the ASCC HOSA Chapter, and its collaboration with the American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE) and its Secondary Division to begin HOSA Chapters in the high schools.

A nationwide organization recognized by the US Department of Education, the purpose of HOSA is to develop leadership and technical skill competencies through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition. HOSA seeks to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development to all health science students. To prepare students for further education and entry level certification and promote career opportunities, HOSA activities reinforce classroom instruction and connect students with the health care community.

The newly-established American Samoa HOSA Association is led by a committee consisting of Sailitafa Samoa and Magdalene Augafa-Leauanae, HOSA Chapter Advisors; Penelope Mareko of Fagaitua High School; Faamamali Ualesi of Leone High School; Adelle Talaeai of Nuuuli Voc Tech; Cecelia Fano of Samoana High School; Ailua Mamea Neufeldt of Tafuna High School. Sailitafa Samoa also represents the ASCC Chapter. Members of the DOE Office of Curriculum and Instruction/Health Division Staff and Second Division will also provide support and assistance.

“HOSA represents an opportunity for our high school and college students to achieve their educational goals and contribute to their community,” said Sailitafa Samoa. “Healthcare incorporates knowledge from the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) areas, and HOSA provides a venue for education, healthcare and STEM professionals to share their expertise. Local students, advisors and professionals will have increased exposure to issues and events with their peers on a national and global level. HOSA also provides its members with increased access to scholarship and internship opportunities. The benefits to students interested in healthcare are substantial, but the long-term goal really is a positive impact on healthcare for the local community.”

Establishing HOSA local chapters and a HOSA American Samoa Association will allow eligible students to represent their schools and American Samoa in the annual HOSA Leadership National Conference which will be held in Nashville, Tennessee this coming June.  The “National HOSA” is expecting a record attendance of 9,000 students, advisors and supporters.

Ms. Samoa also mentioned that the Association looks forward to working with participants from Manu'a High School and the private high schools. For more information, please contact Magdalene Augafa-Leauanae of DOE/OCI at 699-6516, augafam@yahoo.com; or Sailitafa Samoa at ASAHEC; 699-1587, 252-8129, s.samoa@amsamoa.edu.