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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Club Spotlight: NJIT HOSA 


(Photo from NJIT HOSA)

Reviving an organization is no easy feat, but the 2022-23 executive board of NJIT HOSA pulled it off. The club is a collegiate chapter of the international organization HOSA – Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, and aims to provide resources and opportunities to biology and pre-health students at NJIT. The organization existed at NJIT prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but halted most activities for a number of years.  

Club president and second-year biomedical engineering major Sriya Chinthalapudi said, “HOSA is a professional organization where students can explore the healthcare field without the pressure of classes or grades. It’s a place where you can explore things on your own — to see what you like and don’t like, so that you can start the professional development process early on.” 

HOSA chapters across the world host individual events and partner with other local organizations to advance knowledge about a particular area of healthcare. However, a key part of the organization is its regional, national, and international competitions involving a range of healthcare topics. Categories include — but are not limited to — CPR and first aid, emergency medical services, medical math, and medical innovation.  

Chinthalapudi was interested in starting a club that focused on friendly competition because of her previous experience participating in science-centric competitive organizations. “For these events, the nice thing is that people are pushed by self-motivation,” she said. “There aren’t grades or any external factors; it’s about you and your own satisfaction when winning.” 

Although there are several science-based organizations at NJIT, Chinthalapudi did not find any that were specifically geared towards providing opportunities for volunteering and professional development for pre-health majors.  

However, when she discovered NJIT’s chapter of HOSA during March 2022, she decided to resuscitate the club. “It’s actually less difficult to re-activate a club than it is to start a new one,” she said. “It’s a matter of showing [Student Senate] that there are lots of people interested, like through a form.” 

“You also need to explain how your organization will benefit the group,” Chinthalapudi added, “and then you can submit an application, and potentially get invited to speak to the Student Senate to make your case.” Additional requirements include creating a club constitution with other executive board members. When HOSA was successfully revived, however, it was granted the budget that it previously had in the past rather than having to start from the minimum Tier IV budget.  

The club is currently focusing on career development sessions for biology and pre-health students, such as companies visiting to work with students, information sessions, panels including established healthcare professionals, resumé reviews, and more. Most recently, NJIT HOSA co-hosted a session with On Time Medical Transportation, in which the pathway to becoming an emergency medical technician and paid emergency medical service opportunities were reviewed with the company. Additionally, the club is planning to host several volunteer opportunities, especially with the organization National Bone Marrow Donor Program, such as Be the Match, a registry of stem cell donors. 

On the competition front, all three participating teams from NJIT HOSA took part in the New Jersey state HOSA tournament. The club took home one first place and two second place prizes in the categories Emergency Medical Technician, Medical Math, and Medical Innovation respectively. Each team qualified for the international HOSA competition hosted in Dallas, Texas this June. 

Second-year biology major Tanisha Shah, who won first place in the Emergency Medical Technician event along with Chinthalapudi, said, “Competing was exciting, and the environment of the event was fun and collaborative. It wasn’t too cutthroat and competitive, which I liked.”  

“My favorite part was dancing to ‘Naatu Naatu’ with other members by the stage before the awards ceremony,” she added, laughing. 

“I think we cater to a lot of different things,” reflected Chinthalapudi. “We’ve been ramping up a lot, and it’s a really proud moment when we see people interested in our events.” The club also hosted a trivia night, giving away HOSA merch and free MCAT preparation materials. “There’s so much going on behind the scenes, but it’s really worth it when people are genuinely engaged and want to know more.” 

Those who want to know more can join NJIT HOSA’s official Discord server at https://discord.gg/W7r3yk4P. The organization hosts general body meetings around once a month, and meeting details are announced on the Discord in advance. 

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Mrunmayi Joshi, Managing Editor
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