April 25, 2024

NDSU students receive multiple state awards in health-related fields


Six students in the NDSU Chapter of HOSA-Future Health Professionals received 16 awards at a State Leadership Conference held March 24-26 in Bismarck. HOSA-FHP empowers future healthcare leaders. The NDSU chapter includes 125 members representing more than 14 health-related fields. Award winners include:

KayleighAnn Heffernan, nursing

  • First place medical spelling
  • First place medical math
  • Third place medical terminology
  • First place nursing assisting
  • First place team creative problem solving (w/Lauren Leabo)

Gracie Doe, nursing

  • First place behavioral health
  • First place team forensic science (w/Sarah Gaida)
  • Second place medical terminology

Lauren Leabo, medical laboratory science, pre-med

  • Barbara James Service Award, Gold
  • First place researched persuasive writing and speaking
  • First place pathophysiology
  • First place team creative problem solving (w/KayleighAnn Heffernan)

Sarah Gaida, biology

  • First place nutrition
  • First place team forensic science (w/Gracie Doe)

Alena Rinas, biology

  • Barbara James Service Award, Bronze

Brayden McLean, biology

  • First place human growth and development

“Upon learning that so many of our students placed at the state competition, I was filled with a sense of pride,” said Lauren Leabo, executive student advisor for the group and medical laboratory science and pre-med student at NDSU.

“The performance of our students accurately reflects the quality of education we receive at NDSU, reflects the dedication of our students to succeed within their future careers, and to succeed currently as students,” said Leabo, who started the NDSU chapter last year.

NDSU’s HOSA-FHP chapter focuses on developing leadership, skill development and community engagement. The organization includes students in nursing, pharmacy, veterinary science, sports medicine, physical therapy, debate, health education, public health, nutrition, clinical research writing, leadership development, dental, medical law and ethics, forensic science, biology and more. 

Visit the HOSA-FHP website to learn more. 

In addition to providing leadership and skills development, HOSA-FHP allows students to create social and professional networks among their peers and current healthcare professionals. The group completed 388 service hours in the community since August 2023, including projects for the Ronald McDonald House, Feed my Starving Children, Sanford Medical Center Fargo Pediatrics and more.  Future community service partnerships are set up with Make-A-Wish Foundation North Dakota and Crosses for Cameron, which assists organ donors and recipient communities.

The NDSU HOSA-FHP chapter includes a 12-person student board, who serves as a resource to the 29 HOSA chapters in North Dakota, showing middle/high school chapters opportunities in healthcare careers.

“We are dedicated to fostering the next generation of healthcare leaders,” said Leabo. 

Aleisha Lokken, director of student affairs in the College of Health and Human Sciences, serves as advisor to the group.

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