“We are proud to have the first South Dakota collegiate chapter at USD and to extend the success we have at the high school HOSA level," said Brock Rops, the executive director of South Dakota HOSA and deputy director of South Dakota AHEC. "It is our hope that USD students in health care will become active as members, and that it will help solidify a career choice for students who are interested in health care but are uncertain about what specific career they wish to pursue.”

Ashley Miedema, originally from Mitchell, South Dakota, a freshman nursing major, was involved in her high school chapter of HOSA and plans to run for an officer position with the USD chapter. She is looking forward to the opportunities the new HOSA chapter will present USD students.

“Our new HOSA chapter will provide the opportunity for students to grow their interdisciplinary health care knowledge and become acquainted with other people that will also be working in health care,” she said. “It will also provide the opportunity for students to learn the foundational skills for working in health care through community and competitive events.”

Growth in statewide high school HOSA programs has continued to rise in the past 10 years, beginning with 250 students and seven pilot chapters, to now more than 1,100 students over 40 chapters. Founded in 1976, HOSA now has over 4,500 middle school, secondary and postsecondary/collegiate chapters in 54 state associations and serves over 225,000 active members.

The USD HOSA chapter currently has about a dozen members and recently adopted the group’s bylaws.

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