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Two Sun Valley seniors recently competed in the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) Future Health Professional State Conference competition and brought home gold and bronze medals in their respective categories.


Abby Ferrie and Nick Crowley are seniors at Sun Valley High School and are part of the Delaware County Technical School Medical Careers program. The program is available to high school seniors in the county that are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. The program is an extremely competitive academic program where participants are vetted through a rigorous entrance criterion.  Abby and Nick were selected for the program based on their exceptional performance in Biology and Chemistry classes at Sun Valley, outstanding attendance record and flawless disciplinary record.  


For part of their school day, Abby and Nick travel to Crozer/Keystone Hospital in Chester, PA to attend clinical rotations and shadow hospital staff as they care for patients. They spend their time in the OR, ER, ICU, Pharmacy, Lab, PT, OT, Nutrition Services and all Nursing units learning from career-based presentations from an array of health care professionals including: nurses, physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, medical technologists and pharmacists. 


It was through this program that Abby and Nick were introduced to the HOSA Future Health Professional State Conference competition. The competition allows high school students in medical career programs throughout the state to compete in a variety of medical categories. Abby competed in Medical Terminology and Nick competed in Medical Reading during the competition held in Lancaster March 9 through 11, 2016. 


“Medical terminology was something that has interested me during my time in the medical careers program at Crozer,” said Ferrie. “I plan on going to nursing school and will need to know the proper terms for my career. I figured, why not start memorizing and learning them all now.” 


To prepare for the written test of 100 multiple choice and 20 open ended questions, Abby needed to study the definitions of thousands of words associated with anatomy, pathogens, medical ethics and many other categories in the medical field.


“It’s a big time commitment, but it has taught me a lot about professionalism in the medical field and just how much you need to study.” she said.


For medical reading, Nick needed to read five books to prepare. Each book had its own lesson but used common themes such as mal-practice. During the competition, Nick was quizzed on his knowledge from the books with a multiple choice and essay test.  


Abby won the gold medal for Medical Terminology at the state conference, beating approximately 50 other students from across the state in his category. As the first place winner in Medical Terminology and third place winner in Medical Reading for the state of Pennsylvania, Abby and Nick have been invited to travel to Nashville, TN to attend and compete in the HOSA National Leadership Conference June 22- 25, 2016. Additionally, Abby and Nick have the opportunity to apply for a variety of scholarships offered by HOSA to students pursuing higher education in the medical field. 


“They were dedicated to representing themselves, and our school, in the best possible light," stated Sun Valley Principal Pete Donaghy. "I was thrilled when Abby and Nick brought home medals. To have two students from Sun Valley attending nationals is outstanding.”


Abby plans to attend Widener University’s nursing program followed by medical school to become a doctor.  Nick will be attending Penn State Altoona to study pre-med. He would like to be a surgeon one day. 


“I’m certainly thankful for the medical careers program and for having this experience at HOSA. The program has allowed me to learn the different jobs in the hospital and is preparing me to become a leader in health care and make the best decisions for my future patients.”


At Sun Valley, the school could not be more proud of Abby and Nick’s accomplishments at the HOSA conference and are confident that they have a bright future ahead of them in the medical field.