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Waimea students lead the way

As Hawaii State HOSA finalists, eight students will represent Kauai at the HOSA 38th annual National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, from June 21-28. 

The students attend Waimea High School and participate in the Health Occupations for Teens Club, a program offered by Na Lei Wili AHEC. As members of the club, students have the opportunity to join HOSA, a national organization for developing future health professionals. The highlight of the HOSA program is its State and National Leadership Conferences, which offer leadership development and rigorous competition in events for health science, health professions, emergency preparedness, leadership, teamwork and recognition.

The eight finalists ranked in first, second, and third places in their respective events and qualify to compete with others from around the nation. Traveling to Anaheim are Quiana Duarte and Lauren Valenciano (juniors), first place forensic medicine; Jonah Knapp and Samantha Nichols (juniors), second place forensic medicine; Ashley Buyat, Lauryn Fleming, and Melia Takakusagi (seniors), third place, community awareness; and Kira Nobriga (junior), third place, physical therapy.

The Na Lei Wili AHEC State delegation included 27 students and three advisers. The group attended pre- and post-conference study tours to the Anatomical Lab and SimTiki Simulation Center at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, the Blood Bank of Hawaii, Waimanalo AHEC and Community Health Center, and Heald College. Travel for the four-day conference and tour was made possible with funding from the Hawaii/Pacific Basin AHEC; Young Brothers, Ltd.; KIUC; The Specific Chiropractic Center Kauai; and many individual donors.

Na Lei Wili AHEC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to grow its own healers and promote the health and wellness of underserved communities on Oahu and within Kauai County. 

In preparation for the National travel, Na Lei Wili AHEC National delegation will be soliciting donations through various fundraising efforts. The first event will be a food booth at the Leadership Kauai Movie Night in Kekaha on Saturday. Hot beverages and small snacks will be offered. Other activities planned are a wellness week in April and Ladies Night in May.

Info: Fran Becker, becker.fran@gmail.com or office phone 246-8986.

Frank Becker is executive director of Na Lei Wili AHEC

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