Future health professionals program scores high

Nearly 90% of FPS HOSA students qualify for state leadership conference

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published February 10, 2021

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FARMINGTON — Since its inception in 2009, Janet Cadeau and Amy Donato have watched the Farmington Public Schools’ program for future health professionals blossom into a strong after-school activity.

Farmington and North Farmington high schools see pretty good numbers each year, and this has allowed the program to put students on state and national levels.

According to its website, the HOSA program for future health professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult and college students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or who have an interest in pursuing careers in health professions.

The 2020 HOSA Region 12 Leadership Conference was held virtually Dec. 19, with more than 4,200 Michigan students competing in more than 60 health science events.

From the comfort of their own homes, students competed to earn a spot in the top 10, which earned them a spot at the HOSA State Leadership Conference. For Farmington Public Schools, nearly 90% of participants qualified for the state conference.

The State Leadership Conference is scheduled to take place at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City April 22-23. However, due to COVID-19, the conference could also move to a virtual setting.

In these strange circumstances, Cadeau and Donato were proud of their students for finding unique ways to reach the state conference.

“It’s very rewarding as a teacher,” Cadeau said. “It’s just so much excitement. I laugh and I cry with them when they receive those awards. I just take great pride in their work and enjoy watching them.”

With a variety of health categories to compete in, students are able to centralize their focus on what they are interested in. Outside of being a good after-school activity, HOSA helps students learn multiple skills they can use in the real world.

Cadeau and Donato said students are able gain presentation, communication, interpersonal, networking and creative thinking skills, among other things.

Farmington student and competitive event preparation committee leader Meghana Karumuri placed first in the pathophysiology category and will participate at the state leadership conference.

For her, being in HOSA allows her to gain those skills, while meeting new people and following her passion in the medical field.

“I really like HOSA because it’s how I got interested in the medical field,” Karumuri said. “My freshman year, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in the future. By exploring the events in the medical field through HOSA, I was able to discover a passion for medicine, and I’m going to enter college next year as a pre-med student.”

The FPS program has gotten so popular that Cadeau was asked to start a middle school program. The middle school chapter leaders are Ravi Voleti and Praneet Voleti, FHS junior. The current Farmington High Michigan HOSA State Board officer is Ajay Kumar.

As instructors, watching their students find success on the local, state and national level is very rewarding. As they watch students go through the program for four years, it’s nice to watch their progression from their first year to the last.

To see a full list of results or to learn more about HOSA, visit https://www.michiganhosa.org/. Anyone interested in joining HOSA within FPS can contact janet.cadeau@fpsk12.net (Farmington) or amy.donato@fpsk12.net (North Farmington).

“I would encourage them to go to HOSA’s website or come and talk to me, and we’ll see what their interests are,” Donato said. “There’s so many different events that they could participate in. Depending on what their interest is, we can probably find an event for them.”