UH Hilo students excel at state healthcare competition

Samuel Garcia, Aion Kaneko, Christian Lopez, and Travis Makana Taylor earned 1st Place for their 30-second PSA video and presentation, “Bone Marrow Donations Saves Lives!”


Seven students from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo earned top honors in various event categories at the 17th Annual Hawai‘i HOSA “Future Health Professionals Virtual State Leadership Conference” held Feb. 28 – March 4, 2022. The international organization, formerly known as the American Health Occupations Education Student Organization, specializes in empowering students to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration and experience.

Two people standing for photo.
Image from the UH Hilo bone marrow PSA.

The Public Service Announcement Team, comprised of freshmen Samuel Garcia and Aion Kaneko, and seniors Christian Lopez and Travis Makana Taylor, earned 1st Place for their 30-second PSA video and presentation, “Bone Marrow Donations Saves Lives!”

Sophomore Jennifer Nakano earned 2nd Place in Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking for her research paper and speech, “Vaping: Safe or Sorry?”

In individual testing events, freshman Ariell Siliado earned 1st Place in Epidemiology and senior Daniel Kimura earned 2nd Place in Medical Terminology.

Hawaii HOSA logoTaylor also concluded his term as the Hawai‘i HOSA state postsecondary vice president, a position he held for two years.

“Serving on the Hawai‘i HOSA State Executive Council as the postsecondary vice president has been a life-changing experience,” he says. “HOSA has really given me extraordinary leadership skills while also allowing me to improve on skills that I had prior to being elected. HOSA has changed my life.”

The virtual conference had over 900 student participants statewide ranging from middle school through college.

Advisors Jarred Prudencio of the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and Lark Morin of the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine provided student support on competitive events.

The UH Hilo HOSA team will next participate in the 45th Annual HOSA International Leadership Conference on June 22-25, 2022, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is an international organization with more than 250,000 members and 2.5 million alumni. HOSA was established in Hawai‘i in 2005 and has grown to more than 1,700 members.

Media release