Students win honors through health careers program at Mercyhurst North East


Thanks to their participation in the healthcare career initiative sponsored by Mercyhurst University, three local high school students received big honors for their accomplishments in recent statewide medical spelling and medical photography competitions.

The competition took place at the annual state conference for the Pennsylvania branch of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), held this year on April 17-19 in Lancaster, Pa. Mercyhurst University and the Hamot Health Foundation cosponsor the local HOSA group for high school students in the City of Erie public schools.

Maryana Omelchenko won first place in the medical spelling category; Oksana Omelchenko took third place in medical spelling and medical assisting; and Kelley Phillips took third place in medical photography.

Additionally, the Erie HOSA group received recognition for 100 percent chapter affiliation. About 10 students regularly participate in the Mercyhurst-led HOSA group under the direction of Elaine Stanton.

“I just love to see these students excel, and give them the opportunity to explore the many careers in the healthcare field,” she said. “HOSA allows them to receive exposure to all types of healthcare careers. There’s so much out there besides doctors and nurses, which is often the first thing that comes to students’ minds.”

The three winners are now eligible to compete in the national leadership conference June 26-29 in Nashville. Winners at the national level competitions receive scholarship money.

Through the HOSA program as well as the annual summer healthcare careers camp, Mercyhurst North East has a long history of educating students for careers in the health care professions. Mercyhurst North East has many allied health associate degree programs including nursing, medical laboratory technician, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant and respiratory therapist.

For more information about allied health community initiatives at Mercyhurst University, contact PennyMonahan, associate dean of the School of Health Professions and Public Health, at 814-725-6238.

PHOTO: (Standing, l-r) Jasmine Dixon, Jasmyne Grady, Aailyiah Grady, Maryanna Omelchenko & Lyudmila Mayster; (Seated, l-r) Kelley Phillips, Katie Phillips, Elaine Stanton, Oksana Omelchenko & Diana Mayster.  

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