“How can I help?” is a frequent question these days as the pandemic shuts down institutions and upends people’s lives. Now Wisconsin HOSA-Future Health Professionals* is answering with the launch of Wisconsin HOSA Cares, a state service project that enables the group’s aspiring health professionals to help current health professionals during the pandemic.
The project invites its members and chapters to participate in several ways:
- Donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to a local hospital or care facility.
- Send virtual social media shout-outs and thank-you’s to healthcare workers.
- Order food for local healthcare teams.
- Donate to organizations that are providing helpful resources to hospitals.
- Offer to help with childcare and pets of healthcare workers.
- Donate blood if you are healthy and able.
District HOSA advisors, state officers, and members came together (virtually) to brainstorm about the project, especially after health systems started reaching out for new or used PPE. “We wanted to empower members and teachers to feel like they could create authentic experiences for members or chapters to show their concern for the caregivers who are in the trenches or who may be waiting,” said State HOSA advisor Christina Patrin.
Patrin was quick to add that donations of PPE from school training programs require the permission of school districts, and HOSA members have been asked to check with their parents before participating in person-to-person tasks. But the group also included some virtual tasks so everyone has a way to participate.
“What I love most about Wisconsin HOSA is the members care deeply for their communities,” says Patrin. “When there is a need they jump right into action.”
*HOSA-Future Health Professionals provides opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students to plan and participate in educational experiences that prepare them for careers in the health care professions. HOSA has more than 5,000 chapters nationwide with 82 in Wisconsin.