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Largest Kansas HOSA Gathering Yet Brings Members Together to Meet and Compete

Record number of aspiring young health care professionals competed in 71 events, putting their knowledge and creativity to the test.

Kansas HOSA: Future Health Professionals recently concluded its highly successful State Leadership Conference at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. The annual event, held on March 27 and 28, saw its largest attendance to date with 643 enthusiastic participants, a nearly 50% increase over last year.

students standing over an anatomical illustration on a table top screen

The conference offered a rich array of photo opportunities for aspiring health care professionals. Two expansive expos featured 34 university and community college training programs, alongside 25 health care organizations and hospitals. Attendees had the chance to explore diverse breakout sessions, from ambulance and EMS crew demonstrations to engaging cadaver lab tours and a stimulating K-State campus walking tour.

Hailing from high schools throughout the state, attendees also participated in 71 competitive events, showcasing the talents and skills of students across various disciplines, including phlebotomy, forensic science and medical photography.

With membership at an all-time high of 1,301 members and 59 chapters in communities large and small, Kansas HOSA is witnessing unprecedented enthusiasm and engagement among students. Based in the KU Medical Center Area Health Education Center, Kansas HOSA provides experiences to learn about and prepare for careers in health care.

During this year’s conference, Kansas HOSA introduced an Anatomage Tournament, where participants engaged with virtual 3D anatomy tables. The winners now advance to the Anatomage National Tournament, where they will represent Kansas in Las Vegas, Nevada, in June.

Furthermore, 175 Kansas HOSA members have advanced to the upcoming International HOSA Conference in Houston this summer, where they will compete in 50 events, showcasing the state’s strong presence on a national stage.

Kansas HOSA State Officers

Kansas HOSA also recognized outstanding contributions within its community during the State Leadership Conference. Eryn Knecht, Health Science Consultant, KSDE received the Leadership in Collaboration award for her multifaceted involvement with Kansas HOSA, while Maricar Harris, Local Advisor, Wichita Collegiate High School, was honored with both the Advisor of the Year and Educational Excellence awards. Virgil Guo, Kansas HOSA State Officer, Senior, Newton High School, was recognized for his dedication to Kansas HOSA and the creation of the esteemed HOSA STARS event with the prestigious Above and Beyond award. Additionally, Emma Eckstein, Kansas HOSA President, Senior, Frontenac High School, received the Outstanding Leader award for her remarkable dedication to Kansas HOSA's mission.

Under the leadership of Tina Goosz-Garetson, who serves as state advisor, Kansas HOSA continues to inspire and empower the next generation of health care leaders. With a thriving community of students and partners, the organization looks forward to even greater growth and impact in the years to come.

Institute for Community Engagement

University of Kansas Medical Center
Institute for Community Engagement

Mailstop 3013
3901 Rainbow Boulevard

Kansas City, KS 66160