West River Area Health Education Center


Preparing the Healthcare Pipeline

HOSASouth Dakota HOSA was established in 2012 as an initiative of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and the South Dakota Area Health Education Center in response to the great need for future health professionals in our state.

The goals of South Dakota HOSA are three-fold:

  1. Envision: Expanding and nurturing students’ awareness of all the healthcare careers available to them, while molding them into South Dakota's future health professionals.
  2. Energize: Becoming proactive in helping counselors develop a robust personal learning plan for students interested in becoming a future health professional (ie: education, shadowing and service).
  3. Engage: Offering students opportunities to expand their understanding, create projects and demonstrate skills through HOSA’s Competitive Events Program.

The structure of HOSA provides a comprehensive, rigorous and relevant program to engage students interested in careers in healthcare, as well as an evaluation system that has been continuously tested, refined and validated over three decades of use. HOSA's Competitive Events Program offers members the opportunity to compete in teams or as individuals in more than 55 different events that fall along the broad spectrum of healthcare careers.

Founded in 1976, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a career and technical student organization (CTSO), established with the idea of providing students opportunities to develop as a leader and a future employee. In a 2012 remarketing/rebranding strategy roll-out, HOSA moved away from the Health Occupations Students of America brand to HOSA-Future Health Professionals. The new name better encompassed the organization and its mission, while maintaining its ties to its early beginnings.

In its inaugural year, SD HOSA began its journey with seven pilot chapters and 284 members. Chapters implemented HOSA into their schools' curriculum as they brought in healthcare professionals, medical students, introduced the competitive events program and exposed students to a wide-range of healthcare career options. Currently we have twenty chapters with over 500 active members.


National HOSA