Editor’s note: this story is part of a series The Tribune is writing about local clubs.
Patty Crosswhite has seen a lot of medical professionals begin their careers in the 14 years she has advised the Elkin High School HOSA club. Registered nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physician assistants, veterinarians, health educators, operating room technicians, many nurses and even Dr. Will Ballard of the Jonesville Family Medical Center have either been students of hers or members of the club.
Crosswhite said some of them do not go straight into the field, or even realize they wanted to while in school, but she says a very high percentage of the students who participate in HOSA do end up going into the medical field in some capacity.
Health Occupations Students of America was created in 1976 to “enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science education students,” according to the national HOSA website.
Crosswhite said her students participate in many local charities and outreaches.
The club helps with Meals on Wheels during all school vacations, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It also takes meals to the local Ronald McDonald house and makes shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.
Donations are also made to Samaritan’s Purse for the organization to purchase medical equipment. Contributions are given to the Salvation Army as well.
Crosswhite said the club worked with the Special Olympics even when they were not held at Elkin, and hopes to work with them again starting next year.
The club will also be working with a children’s home, but the particular home has not been chosen yet.
HOSA students also compete against other schools at district and state-level competitions. Categories include physical therapy, biomedical debate, medical math, extemporaneous writing, research persuasive speaking and forensic medicine.
Last year Elkin won first place in the state and traveled to California for Nationals.
This school year all of the competing club members were first timers, but Crosswhite said the teams were eager to compete again next year, especially the forensic medicine team. She hopes to take two biomedical debate teams next year as well.
Crosswhite said the club is very active and has 25-30 members. Members generally take one of the medical classes Crosswhite offers, but its not required as long as students have a class in their planned schedule. Classes include Health Science I and II, Nursing Fundamentals, and Introduction to Health Team Relations.
The club meets once a month, in addition to posting on its own Twitter account.
Crosswhite said the club had a Facebook page, but students told her “no one uses it now.”
Follow the club on Twitter at @ELKINHOSA.
To contact Taylor Pardue or to volunteer your club for an article call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at email@example.com.