THS medical academy competes in state conference

Thompson High School Medical Professions Academy recently attended the Alabama Health Occupations Students of America Leadership Conference. (Contributed)

Thompson High School Medical Professions Academy recently attended the Alabama Health Occupations Students of America Leadership Conference. (Contributed)

By MANDY STEADMAN / Special to the Reporter

On Feb. 26 and 27, the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Convention Center played host to the Alabama Health Occupations Students of America Leadership Conference. This conference included more than 1,000 students from across the state, including 13 students from the new Thompson High School Medical Professions Academy.

Dorinda Shaddix, the THS academy instructor and HOSA advisor, said the conference included about 50 different competitions. The 13 THS students who attended competed in epidemiology, medical math, first-aid and CPR team, physical therapy, pathophysiology, veterinary medicine and career health display.

One student in particular achieved one of the highest honors awarded at this conference. Ninth-grader Eris Mehelic was inducted at the end of the conference as one of four HOSA state officers.

“(Mehelic) will represent Thompson High School and the state of Alabama at a conference in Anaheim, California. She did a really good job,” said Shaddix.

As an officer, Mehelic will gain leadership experience and will promote career opportunities in health care fields.

“She will also help to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people,” Shaddix said.

The THS Medical Professions Academy has grown substantially since its first day as an established academy. Shaddix said they started out with two empty classrooms. Now they have a fully equipped medical lab. This includes medical beds, oxygen head walls, sharps containers, medical gloves, IV poles and EKG machines.

“The academy’s goal is to combine the high rigorous academics of THS and incorporate that with this program. A Strong academic component with hands-on experience,” said Shaddix. “Students will be career-ready or ready to go into college in their chosen field of study by the time they graduate.”

The academy currently has 120 student members and offers three classes. These classes include a foundations class, Emergency Service class and a Healthcare Provider CPR class.

The students will also have the opportunity to go out into the community and provide a teddy bear hospital by the end of the year.

“The conference was a very good opportunity for them. Most of the students are already planning and looking forward to next year,” she said.