HOSA – Future Health Professionals
is a national organization of secondary and post-secondary students that supports career development in health professions and improvement of health services delivery to the general population. Today, over 165,000 students across the country participate in HOSA activities through its 3,000 chapters. Therefore, HOSA students represent a sizeable portion of the nation’s future health professions workforce. After high school, over 90% of HOSA students continue to pursue a career in the health professions. HOSA students spread their impact across the health fields as they progress along their chosen career path.
Inevitably, HOSA students may encounter public health throughout their educational and professional careers. Therefore, it is important to introduce, at a pre-professional stage, HOSA students to public health issues and the potential career paths of a public health professional. Doing so may not only benefit students through increased awareness of training opportunities and the relationship between public health and other health professions, but public health will also be benefitted by providing additional insight on initiatives that seek to map the pipeline of public health professionals (PHSSR)
. This branch of Public Health Systems and Services Research (PHSSR)
seeks to increase access to available data that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health services.
In addition, given that 45% of HOSA students are minorities, increasing access to advanced study and career opportunities in public health can help effectively ensure that the future public health workforce is more representative of the populations the workforce serves. At present, minority populations, including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and certain segments of the nation’s Asian/Pacific Islander populations are not present in representative numbers in the public health workforce. In order to explore ways that information about public health and public health careers could be better introduced to minority populations, Public Health Foundation (PHF) is working to build upon a previously awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
that piloted a Minority Outreach Initiative
to present these opportunities. By spreading awareness of public health opportunities in young adults already interested in health, the problem of underrepresentation may be mitigated moving forward.
PHF will be exploring additional opportunities to spread awareness of not only TRAIN, but public health, to HOSA students. Thus far, a HOSA resource folder, containing documentation and flyers that can aid the introduction of TRAIN into a HOSA chapter, has been made available to all TRAIN users (access to this folder requires setting up a free TRAIN account). If you are a HOSA leader and are interested in additional information on TRAIN, please contact the TRAIN Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.