Now in its 11th year, with the theme “Beyond All Limits,” the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) conference will feature more than 80 academic breakout sessions, competitive events and awards, an exhibitor/college fair and networking opportunities. Students will learn about various health care topics and equipment such as virtual reality goggles and EMT, suturing and knot tying, and OB/GYN simulation and compete in nearly 60 events, such as clinical nursing, physical therapy and behavioral health.

South Dakota HOSA is a student organization that earned its national charter in 2012-13. The program was created under the auspices of the South Dakota Area Health Education Center and the USD Sanford School of Medicine, tailored for students in South Dakota. The program encourages and builds confidence in students interested in health care careers--many of them from the state’s smaller communities--with the specific goal for them to enter formal training and subsequently practice health professions in South Dakota.

“Careers in health sciences are the number one self-selected cluster by high school students,” said Brock Rops, executive director of South Dakota HOSA and organizer of the conference. “This demonstrates how interested these kids are in health care and HOSA has the resources and experiences to nurture that interest. It’s imperative that we help these students pursue their dreams of becoming health care professionals. We want to build better candidates, promote workforce opportunities in South Dakota and encourage them to stay here to live and work. This demographic is an important pipeline to filling more health jobs, especially now with the dire workforce need.”

Partners in the 2023 State Leadership Conference are the USD School of Health Sciences, South Dakota AHEC, Sanford Health and Avera Health.

Visit for more information about the South Dakota chapter of HOSA and the upcoming State Leadership Conference.

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