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Midvale Journal

Hillcrest High crowned state champs; students to compete at international HOSA contest

May 29, 2022 01:51PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Hillcrest High junior Ashtyn McVey is certified in CPR and first aid and has completed the nursing assistant program at Canyons Technical Education Center. Now, she and junior Ryder Dietz, who has the same qualifications, can use their knowledge and skills as they compete at the internationals in June.

The two and several other Hillcrest students will compete in contests at the international conference of HOSA—Future Health Professionals, formerly known as health occupation student association, June 22-25 in Nashville, Tennessee.

HOSA, which began in 1975 in six states, now involves more than 260,000 members in 54 chapters throughout the U.S. and across the world.

Hillcrest students recently were crowned state champions, placing 37 of the 42 students who competed at state in the top 10, said Hillcrest HOSA adviser Mathew Hart, who said because of bus driver shortage, they couldn’t take their entire team of 106 members.

“We had more than 20 of our students qualify in events for the international conference,” he said. “I set high expectations for my students, and they’ve delivered so I’m very proud of them.”

After finishing fourth at state in their event, McVey said she and her teammate are practicing leading up to the competition “so we’re confident in our skills.”

Their contest begins with a 50-question written test. Then, top teams advance to a 12-minute scenario where they have to use their CPR and first aid knowledge and are evaluated for their practical knowledge.

At state, they were given a scenario where two hikers were injured; one was unconscious and needed CPR and the other needed a splint for a compound leg fracture.

“We were super, super surprised at state,” she said. “The first part was super hard, like on an EMT level, so we weren’t sure we’d make it past that, but once we did, we were glad because we could do the skills portion.”

McVey also worked with junior Lukas Rohde on health career display on prosthetics. 

Rohde said he is familiar with the field because his dad had his leg amputated after being “injured in Afghanistan by a man-made explosive that shattered his leg, so he has a prosthetic. I’ve met those who work in the field and it’s really a cool engineering process and a job that helps people.”

Rohde, who is the club vice president, also worked for about four weeks researching then giving presentations for the health education contest with the club historian Aryanna Hinckley and club president Sowmya Paritala.

“We presented lessons on promoting a healthy body image and body neutrality to teachers to help them use that information in their classrooms and with themselves,” Hinckley said. “A healthy body image is accepting your body, and body neutrality is more focusing on your body functions rather than what it looks likes. So, for example, if you’re overweight, but your body still functions properly, it does not matter unless it’s affecting your lifestyle or your health or if it’s something you want to work on to get better.”

During their presentation, the group highlighted statistics and showed how social media aspects affects males and females.

“We wanted to reach teachers because teenagers get this information all the time, but if they have adults in their lives who are negatively affecting themselves or physically affecting them, it’s going to hurt them more. If we give adults the information, they can help their students whom they interact with. Instead of ignoring the problem, they can be there for them,” she said.

About 30 schoolteachers came to their presentation and shared their thoughts and stories, which not only helped get the information to faculty, but also validated their research, Hinckley said.

She also competed with sophomore Natalie Dickison in the health career display on pediatric hematology oncologists. Much to her surprise, as well as Rohde’s, that event time slot got moved to the same time as their health education event, so junior Campbell Hone and sophomore Kalli Van Dijk stepped in; they, along with Paritala, presented the project to judges—and won gold.

“It was really surprising (to get a medal) because we were ready, but then at the last minute, we had to get everything together with two new people,” Paritala said. “Honestly, they did great job with the presentation; without them, we wouldn’t have moved on.”

Paritala said it speaks volumes to the club members and culture.

“It’s been the coolest thing this year was being an officer,” she said. “Our team is really smart, and we work together to figure things out, whether it’s holding a blood drive, doing some hard dissections, or competing. We just come together. Everyone has a good work ethic and it’s a really good environment.”

Paritala, who also is a school international baccalaureate officer, said her class schedule is filled with those required classes so she appreciates the chance to further her interest in health education since she wants to pursue a career in the medical profession. It also has given her leadership experience.

That is something Hart appreciates.

“This is a student organization. It’s student-lead and adviser supported. I have eight officers and I have team captains and they hold students accountable, make practice schedules and report to me what’s going on,” he said. “The fundamental knowledge and skills they’re learning in leadership and in health science is going to help propel them into the workforce.”

Hillcrest’s state HOSA results include Achintya Sai Yoganath, Stephen Rhoades and Edward Loh, Creative Problem Solving, first; Van Dijk, dental terminology, second; Taylor Simpson, pathophysiology, second; Hillcrest team, health career display, second; Aiden Reid, prepared speaking, third; Miles Vlam, medical reading, fourth; Hillcrest team, biomedical debate, fourth; Hillcrest team, health education, fourth; Hillcrest team, medical innovation, fourth; Alexis Larson, persuasive writing and speaking, fifth; Sandhya Senthilkumar, medical law and ethics; fifth; Hillcrest team, health career display, fifth; Vlam, human growth and development, sixth;  Swetha Iyer, persuasive writing and speaking, seventh; Esha Patel, persuasive writing and speaking, eighth; Iyer, job-seeking skills, eighth; Hone, prepared speaking, ninth; Avery Worth, persuasive writing and speaking, ninth; and Simpson, medical spelling, ninth.