Posted By William J. Pierce, ASCLS-CO President,
Cathy McNary, ASCLS-CO past-president, is the ultimate volunteer. Everything Cathy decides to work on for ASCLS is always done with great time investment and a very high energy level. She has definitely drunk the ASCLS "KOOLAID".
Two years ago Cathy invited a director of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) to an ASCLS-CO board meeting. The meeting generated an enormous interest among our members. We purchased a booth at the HOSA state conference in 2011. Lots of work went into setting up the booth, telling the ASCLS story, and encouraging laboratory medicine as a career.
Cathy set up microscopes - one with hematology stained slides showing WBC, RBC, and Platelets, and the other showing gram stained bacteria. We had two drawings per day to give away laboratory related gifts. It was a resounding success! Over 400 high school students with an interest in health careers visited the booth. We had general members, students and board members staffing the booth for eight hours. It was awesome!
This year, 2012, Cathy obtained two booths at the HOSA state conference and we had the same response, with another 400 high school students coming by and learning about Medical Laboratory Science. Cathy setup a new activity this year - she had a lecture for students and they participated in a session where they were judged on their laboratory skills. This was also very successful.
HOSA is a national student organization endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of ACTE. HOSA's two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA's goal is to encourage all health occupations instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HSE-HOSA Partnership.
HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in HSE programs. HOSA is 100% health care!
Since its inception in 1976, HOSA has grown steadily reaching nearly 120,000 members through 47 chartered HOSA State Associations and approximately 3,200 secondary and postsecondary/collegiate chapters in 2009-2010.
HOSA is not a club to which a few students in school join. Rather, HOSA is a powerful instructional tool that works best when it is integrated into the HSE curriculum and classroom. HSE instructors are committed to the development of the total person. Those who join the HSE-HOSA Partnership recognize the importance of providing students with training far beyond the basic technical skills needed for entry into the health care field. The rapidly changing health care system needs dedicated workers who, in addition to their technical skills, are people-oriented and capable of playing a leadership or followership role as a member of a health care team.
HOSA's mission is especially critical when considering the acute shortage of qualified workers for the health care industry. It is essential that the HSE-HOSA Partnership maintain its momentum and encourage all HSE instructors to integrate HOSA into their curriculum and classrooms.
The most exciting part of the meeting and, especially for Cathy, was HOSA chose ASCLS-CO as their Partnership of the Year Award for 2011-12. Cathy accepted the award on behalf of ASCLS-CO. Kudos to Cathy - the ultimate ASCLS member and volunteer. She should be very proud of what she has accomplished and her story needs to be told.