Students from across state to attend med center conference

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | March 12, 2018

Image with caption: Students at a previous HOSA conference at the med center examine the anatomage table.

Students at a previous HOSA conference at the med center examine the anatomage table.

Students will be coming to UNMC from all across the state this month to take part in a two-day Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) Conference hosted by UNMC and Nebraska Medicine.

HOSA is a career student organization, partnered with the U.S. Department of Education, which is focused on preparing students for careers in health care. HOSA students can be middle school through professional school, but the majority are high-school students.

The event, held March 19 and 20, will offer a variety of experiences for the med center's young guests, said Kori Jensen, state HOSA advisor.

"We have general sessions with speaker and awards," she said. "Students are competing in 50 different health/science-related competitive events, ranging from forensic medicine to assisting nurses to speech and interview contests. Students will also participate in a series of breakout sessions that could include speakers or tours."

Joe LeGrand, talent acquisition sourcing lead for Nebraska Medicine, said the HOSA partnership is important for Nebraska Medicine and UNMC because HOSA participants make up its future student body and workforce.

"It's our job to attract the top talent we can to Nebraska Medicine and UNMC," he said. "This event allows us to develop a pipeline of future talent and allows us to assist HOSA in making students aware of the career opportunities that are available in health care.

"A lot of people think about working in the hospital and they think doctor or nurse, but they don't think about the many others -- phlebotomists, patient care techs, medical assistants and everything that goes along with that.

"HOSA is a wonderful organization and it's a great partnership," he said.

UNMC and Nebraska Medicine first hosted the event in 2016. This year, approximately 550 people are expected, primarily high school students.

"There will be involvement from people from all across Nebraska Medicine and UNMC who will be assisting in the competitions and tours," LeGrand said. "Our colleagues are highly engaged in outreach efforts. They love to give back, they are passionate about what they do, and there's a very high level of excitement when they get to share their passion with students."

The event will require about 125 volunteers to serve in various capacities, such as speakers, judges and tour guides, Jensen said.

"There are a lot of health professionals needed to pull this off," she said.

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