HOSA-Future Health Professionals Recognized at White House Ceremony

On January 28, FEMA, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. Department of Education recognized the inaugural affirmers of the National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education (National Strategy) in a ceremony at the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The National Strategy outlines a vision for a Nation of prepared youth and provides nine priority steps that partners at the local, state, and national levels can take to help make that vision a reality. Forty-nine organizations have already affirmed their support of the National Strategy.


Among the forty-nine affirming organizational representatives pictured above included Jane Shovlin, Immediate Past HOSA, Inc. Chairman represented HOSA-Future Health Professionals and a member of the HOSA National Advisory Council, CAPT Rob Tosatto, Director of the Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, Office of Emergency Management, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. 


The National Strategy affirmers included large national agencies, small community organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and many others. While the organizations varied in scope and size, they are united behind the mission of educating and empowering youth to prepare for disasters. During the morning ceremony, the affirmers were individually recognized for their involvement. In the afternoon, the honorees met to discuss success stories and lessons learned, and to identify opportunities for collaboration.


HOSA-Future Health Professionals is committed to the nine priority steps that are critical to fulfilling the purpose of creating a prepared youth community.    As future health professionals, HOSA members recognize the importance of youth preparedness education.  A growing percentage of HOSA members and advisors are involved with the Medical Reserve Corps in their communities and an increasing number of HOSA members are preparing themselves for local, state and national competition in the HOSA Emergency Preparedness Competitive Events.  The nine priority steps include:


  1. Elevate the importance of youth preparedness learning programs at the national, state and local levels.  Partners should demonstrate results and show how these programs are an integral part of the fabric of the community.
  2. Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of existing and new youth preparedness programs.  Incorporate best practices and up-to-date protective actions.
  3. Support the implementation of youth preparedness learning programs. 
  4. Create positive relationships between youth and the first responder community.
  5. Link youth preparedness to family and community participation, especially in communities where English may not be the first language spoken (or understood) among adults, in other underrepresented communities, and inclusive of individuals with access and functional needs.
  6. Make school preparedness a key component of youth preparedness.
  7. Build and strengthen productive partnerships among stakeholder agencies and organizations.
  8. Identify opportunities to embed youth preparedness in youth culture.
  9. Designing a sustaining, locally driven model for developing, designing and delivering programming. 


Why Focus on Youth?


With approximately 74 million children under the age of 18 in the United

States in 2011, children make up nearly one-quarter of the entire U.S.

population. Children are disproportionally impacted by disasters, yet

insufficient attention has been given to preparing this population.


            Children compose a special population known as a “vulnerable group.”

            Such groups are more prone than others to damage, loss, suffering,

            injury and death in the event of a disaster. Though numerous factors

            can influence how vulnerable a particular child will be when faced with

            a potential risk, research shows that children, in general, are susceptible

            to three types of vulnerability during a disaster: psychological, physical and educational.


As Future Health Professionals, HOSA members are committed to preparing themselves to serve everyone but especially our Nation’s children for the significant challenges that they may face in the future. 


For more information, go to these links:


  • National Strategy for Youth Preparedness


  • Medical Reserve Corps