​A Healthy Dose of Future Health Professionals


During March 28th and 29th, the HOSA South Dakota State Leadership Conference took place at the Sanford Pentagon, reserving two days for members to learn new skills through breakout sessions and tours, connect with health professionals in the area, and compete in the competitive events that they’ve been preparing for all year. This year, eighty-five HOSA members from Harrisburg High School attended the conference.

HOSA, previously known as Health Occupations Students of America, is an international student organization that aims to advance career opportunities in the ever-growing health care industry along with delivering quality care to everyone. The organization provides many leadership and volunteering opportunities for its members, allowing them to gain experience both in the workplace and in their communities.

At the HOSA State Conference, members competed in various events, ranging anywhere from forensic medicine to health education; not only can they compete in these events, but they can also participate in breakout sessions such as how to give injections, how to respond to mass casualties, or how to suture an injury. On the first night of the conference, students also attended a banquet where they listened to a guest speaker, while on the second night, they attended an awards ceremony where they presented the top three place winners for each competitive event. After placing in their respective events, members had the chance to attend the international leadership conference, which takes place this year in Orlando, Florida, to compete against students from all over the world.

Mackenzie Peterson, a senior and current president of Harrisburg HOSA, enjoys competing at the state conference. “It is always fun and rewarding to see your hard work pay off,” she says. “Sometimes you would work on an event all year long until the state conference, and to see your project place high is exciting and fulfilling.” Because she joined HOSA, Mackenzie received many opportunities to develop her leadership skills and shadow various professionals in the medical field.

Congratulations to Harrisburg HOSA for their hard work at the HOSA South Dakota State Leadership Conference!