ASCC-ASAHEC-HOSA Members Attend National Conference
July 11, 2016
By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer
Members of the local chapters of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) represented American Samoa at the HOSA International Leadership Conference late last month. Affiliated with the American Samoa Health Education Center (ASAHEC), which is hosted by the American Samoa Community College (ASCC), local chapters of HOSA are based at ASCC as well as several of the Territory’s public high schools.
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, HOSA pursues its two-fold mission of promoting career opportunities in the health care industry while enhancing 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 enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or have interests in pursuing careers in health professions.
Over 9.000 participants from across the United Stated attended his year’s HOSA International Leadership Conference, held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. The agenda included meetings, student candidates vying for national HOSA office, workshops, health vendors, over 55 competitive events and renowned guest speakers. U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murphy, M.D., M.B.A. gave the keynote speech.
Making the occasion a very special one or the three-person local delegation, led by ASAHEC Program Director Ms. Sailitafa Samoa, was American Samoa HOSA being recognized for meeting the requirement in the last school year to become chartered members of the National HOSA by having more than four HOSA chapters. “Myself and students Motutama Sipeli’i and Gracechell Cabalar were honored to receive the plague for American Samoa HOSA, presented by 2015-2016 HOSA National President, Mr. Amit Sandhu,” said Ms. Samoa. “Because we’re now a chartered member, it was the first time they added the American Samoa Flag in the parade of flags of all the HOSA states, territories and countries.”
Ms. Samoa explained that Sipeli’i represented American Samoa HOSA for the membership growth from the first year, 2014-2015, when the local chapters started with 13 members, to the second year, 2015-2016 when membership increased to five secondary HOSA chapters and one post-secondary chapter to bring local membership to a total of 200. “The American Samoa HOSA would not have reached this milestone without the leadership of Magdalene Augafa-Leauanae of DOE,” said Ms. Samoa, who also credited Advisors Penelope Mareko, Cecilia Fano, Adelle Talaeai, Ailua Mamea Neufeldt, Valasi Apulu and Faamamali Ualesi for facilitating the participation of students from Faga’itua High School, Samoana High School, Nu’uuli Voc Tech High School, Tafuna High School and Leone High School.
“Although only three of us were able to attend the conference and accept the plaque, each Advisor and every member of each local chapter, including ASCC, is responsible for this milestone for American Samoa of Charter Membership,” reflected Ms. Samoa. Assistance from ASAHEC and ASCC enabled Sipeli’i to attend, while Calabar, one of the first three members of the ASCC HOSA chapter, paid her own expenses. An annual event, the next HOSA International Leadership Conference will take place in Orlando, Florida in June 2017. For more information on HOSA, contact Ms. Samoa at 699-1587.