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The Future of Medicine--HOSA Club Holds Annual Poster Contest for Members

Sophomore Alexis Dalton poses with her second place medal from the HOSA poster contest. (Courtesy Photo)

By Hayley Rea--Eagle Assistant Editor

Last week, the HOSA club on campus conducted their annual poster contest for its student members and recognized three winners.

“[With] the poster contest, they were to create a poster about any disease of the human body and we had three winning places. First place went to Hannah Nunley and she did a poster on diabetes. Second place went to Alexis Dalton and she did a poster on Alzheimer’s disease. Third place went to Pricila Garcia-Rodriguez and she did a poster on Huntington’s disease,” Ginny Crouch, the HOSA faculty sponsor, explained.

HOSA is a club for students wanting to pursue a future career in the healthcare field. They host meetings, contests, and other events dedicated to spreading awareness for medicine.

“HOSA gives me the experience of learning all about the body system and allowing me to connect with people with similar interests. I am able to discuss my future plans and get ideas for college from other participants of HOSA. I plan on pursuing the career of a radiation oncologist and HOSA gives me the opportunity to study on medical terms that I would have to know in the future,” junior Pricila Garcia-Rodriguez, HOSA member, replied.

Everyone involved in the club enjoys the opportunity to expand their knowledge about healthcare and medicine.

“I enjoy HOSA because it gives me a better understanding of the medical field,” sophomore Alexis Dalton, HOSA member, commented.

This poster contest allowed each participant to further their knowledge of pathology and epidemiology through specific disease research.

“The information that I researched was the overall image as to how the brain looks normally compared to that of a person with Huntington’s. I also did research [on] which functions were impaired if one were to have Huntington’s,” Garcia-Rodriguez explained.

Some students decided on their topics based on personal experiences.

“I picked Alzheimer’s disease because it was something my grandmother suffered with before [she] passed, so I had a pretty good understanding of it to start with,” Dalton replied.

This contest also allowed student HOSA members to explore their own creativity as they came up with ideas for visually presenting their research.

“I researched images of brains that one would normally have and decided to do a compare and contrast format,” Garcia-Rodriguez commented. “This format allowed the viewer to have a better understanding that the disease not only affects those with Huntington’s physically, but also changes the appearance of their brain. I chose two different colors (red and blue) to emphasize the two different sides and the main part of the brain that Huntington’s disease affects.”

For some, those visual elements evolved from the same personal experiences that influenced their disease of choice as a whole.

“I chose to do puzzles with the brain because [my grandmother] would always joke that she was ‘losing pieces’ in her forgetfulness,” Dalton explained.

After submissions were sent in, a Google form was created and teachers on campus were asked to vote on which poster they liked best.

“We are very thankful for all of our teachers that voted. We had 103 teachers vote,” Crouch commented.

Junior Pricila Garcia-Rodriguez takes a picture with her third place medal and poster submission from the HOSA poster contest. (Courtesy Photo)

Each of the three winners was then given recognition for their achievement.

“Our winners received a medal and we recognized them at our HOSA meeting last week,” Crouch elaborated.

The contest proved enjoyable for its participants and everyone involved was grateful for the opportunity to share their medical knowledge.

“I participated in the contest due to my passion for the medical field. I did enjoy participating in this contest because I was able to learn in depth about neurological disorders. My favorite part was being able to learn new medical terminology,” Garcia-Rodriguez commented.

Outside of the HOSA organization on campus, there are also higher levels of reward for students who wish to send their posters through.

“Often in a normal year, the HOSA organization for the state of Virginia, and even nationally, has poster contests, so if our students create posters, they can submit those to the state and national organizations to be able to compete with other future healthcare students in HOSA as well,” Crouch explained about these higher opportunities.

Overall, the contest was very successful and those who participated were glad to have the chance to do so.

“I won a medal for my placement, but I was just glad to have the experience of participating,” Garcia-Rodriguez concluded. “I did not intend on placing and instead did it out of my interest for the medical field.”

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