Thanks to an outstanding showing at a state leadership conference, 22 members of Hopkinton High School’s HOSA team — Health Occupations Students of America-Future Health Professionals — qualified to compete at the international level.
Additionally, six students from Hopkinton Middle School finished in the top three in their events.
The HOSA International Leadership Conference will be held in Dallas from June 21-24. Students will participate in competitive events, attend educational seminars and workshops and exhibit with thousands of HOSA members from around the world.
The state competition was held at Worcester State University on March 18 and included presentations from multiple college and medical students, researchers, physicians and professionals from many other healthcare careers from Worcester State University, UMass Chan Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The qualifying HHS students were: Srilakshmi Venkatesan and Nandita Ramesh (Community Awareness, first place), Piyusha Majgaonkar and Shrija Kumar (Community Awareness, second place), Anna Noroian and Tanisha Renjith (Community Awareness, third place), Devanshi Agrawal, Anjali Bhattacharyya, Sofia Dhayal and Sruthi Tadaka (Health Education, first place), Nandita Ramesh (Job Seeking Skills, second place), Jake Dold, Kaizar Rangwala and Shaurya Patni (Medical Innovation, first place), Prachi Meher (Medical Math, third place), Aryan Shah (Nutrition, third place), Anagha Kulkarni, Renee Gowda, Vidya Narendra Ramakrishna and Charan Vijay (Public Health, second place), Ishita Khurana (Research Poster, first place) and Leah Hong (Veterinary Science, third place).
In total, 47 members of Hopkinton HOSA competed at the high school level.
Qualifying from Hopkinton Middle School were: Suhani Patni and Parnika Rai (Emotional Well-Being, first place), Akshadha Ghantasala and Kashvi Gupta (Health Career Display, second place), Ishana Khurana and Niyathi Thatigutla (Health Career Display, third place), Akshadha Ghantasala (Medical Terminology, first place), Ishana Khurana (Medical Terminology, second place) and Kashvi Gupta (Medical Terminology, third place).
The middle school competitors will not be traveling to the Dallas event.
In the Medical Innovation category, sophomore Kaizar Rangwala and his first-place team built an artificial intelligence (AI) system to monitor cardiotocography scans of a fetus’s heart in order to detect underlying health issues before birth to prevent neonatal and maternal deaths.
“I had lots of fun at the state conference. My teammates and I got the chance to learn about real-world medical practice and speak with people in the field,” noted Rangwala. “I am looking forward to being in Dallas with my friends and showcasing our hard work at ILC.”
HHS sophomores and second-place finishers Shrija Kumar and Piyusha Majgaonkar did a project in the Community Awareness category about eating disorders and nutrition. They said the state conference provided an “excellent platform to engage with healthcare professionals from different backgrounds” and expand their knowledge of various healthcare fields.
Majgaonkar and her partner went around the community educating people about topics such as eating disorder stigma and finding nutrition in spite of food insecurity.
Of the state event, Majgaonkar noted, “I enjoyed expanding my knowledge all while learning more about medicine and making friends in the process!”
In addition to being excited about the upcoming competition, Majgaonkar looks forward to “expanding my horizons when it comes to medicine … a field I’ve been passionate about for so long.”
She added, “I’m excited to make new friends and delve into different fields of medicine all while exploring Dallas.”
Hopkinton’s local chapter of HOSA has annually hosted emergency medical trainings, guest speaker events, clinical skills workshops and other healthcare-related activities for more than 90 members.
Anatomy and physiology teacher and HOSA advisor Marjorie Billeter said the group is looking for corporate sponsorships to help cover the approximately $23,000 total estimated cost for airfare, hotel, transportation and event registrations. Grant sponsorship opportunities are available in a variety of levels.
Individuals interested in donating can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check to Student Activities at the high school with HOSA in the memo line.
Two adult chaperones will accompany the 22 students to Dallas.