By Eyon Brown, communications intern

The future of health science shines even brighter at Wofford.

Spearheaded by Emily Hathcock ’23, a biology major from Summerville, South Carolina, a chapter of Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), has been established on campus and recently had multiple students place at South Carolina’s Future Health Professionals Virtual State Leadership Conference in early March.

Among these three students were Morgan Ellis ’22, who competed in Health Care Issues; Aidan Jenkins ’24, who placed first in Nutrition; and Rashee Amin ’23, who placed first in Medical Assisting. Jenkins and Amin will represent Wofford and South Carolina on the international stage when they compete at the Future Health Professionals Virtual International Leadership Conference in June. The Executive Council will still travel to Orlando to hold an opening session and a recognition session, but most participants in the conference will do so virtually.

Recognized by the United States Department of Education, Future Health Professionals is an organization that allows students in high school and college to prepare for careers in medical fields through both test-based and skills-based competitive events. Event categories include areas such as health science, health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership and teamwork.

Hathcock, who has been a member of Future Health Professionals for seven years and who currently serves as the organization’s postsecondary/collegiate vice president, speaks glowingly of the impact that her membership and her competitive experiences have had on her life.

“I had the skills at 14 to stop someone from bleeding uncontrollably,” Hathcock says. “I also had the skill at 14 to stop someone from not only bleeding out, but I was able to open an airway at such a young age, and I think that’s incredibly important. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with HOSA because it provides that experience for you to potentially save someone’s life and help someone in any way possible.”

At the collegiate level, membership in Future Health Professionals is slightly different than it is at the high school level. In college, students have much more access to internship opportunities working in hospitals and other medical settings. The desire for such experiences and opportunities allowed Hathcock to bring her idea of establishing a chapter at Wofford to fruition.

“I was able to get it started by just finding an advisor, finding a couple students who, some of them had no idea what HOSA was, they were just on board to have some sort of experience in healthcare,” she says. “And so, we had three students compete at the state leadership conference this year and then we had one compete last year when it switched over to virtual.”

For other students who may be interested in becoming a member of Future Health Professionals, Hathcock encourages them to reach out to her or any of the officers. The officers include Chandler Dickert ’23, Sammy Omar ’23, Grace Levitt ’23, Sara Faucett ’23, Sabrina Skiff ’23, Ellis and Jenkins. Membership dues are $20, followed by dues for paraphernalia such as T-shirts.