Health Science Association helps members make industry connections, gain familiarity

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Health Science Association helps members make industry connections, gain familiarity

Nursing and pre-med students at BJU work with local hospitals as part of their educational experience, GHS, Greenville, SC, January 25, 2018. (Hal Cook)

Bob Jones University’s Health Sciences Association connects students and their peers with opportunities within the healthcare profession.

Since consolidating several related healthcare programs into one School of Health Professions in August 2018, BJU has been expanding the resources for the program. The HSA is described on the BJU website as existing to provide leadership opportunities as well as to broaden students’ understanding of “the many facets of health sciences.”

But the HSA works to connect not only the students in the School of Health Professions but also their peers in all other majors. Most HSA events are open to all BJU students, and many are done in collaboration with other organizations.

Some of the upcoming events are a cultural literacy forum in collaboration with the University Language Association at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, in Stratton Hall and a seminar with the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, in FA 101.

Dr. Hannah Benge, a doctor of clinical science speech-language pathology and faculty adviser to the HSA, said this developing community is foundational. Under the guidance of Benge, the HSA connects each of the many majors in the School of Health Professions, including healthcare administration and communication disorders, as well as others. 

As the students learn and interact with their peers and healthcare professionals, they build a better understanding of health as a whole rather than from the standpoint of a single major.

“In the field of health professions, we tend to work with many different professions,” Benge said, “so [the HSA] is kind of building that understanding of what other disciplines do.”

Abby Leaman, a junior communication disorders major and the HSA vice president, agrees that in the medical field, collaboration is key. “When someone has something wrong with their health, it very rarely affects just one part of them—it affects their whole being,” Leaman said.

According to Leaman, the HSA is devoted to showing students how their field fits into the larger picture of whole health care. Leaman said the HSA focuses on developing those connections early in each student’s career and providing networking opportunities for internships or graduate studies.

The HSA has been partnering with the Greenville Area Parkinson Society to showcase the importance of connection in the medical field. 

Through a seminar led by executive director Laryn Weaver, healthcare students hear authorities from the medical field present their experience of how health care has worked for people with Parkinson’s disease. The speakers showcase multiple fields working together to combat the effect of Parkinson’s disease in every area of the patient’s life.

Caleb Woo, a senior health sciences major and president of the HSA, described the GAPS seminar he remembered most. 

The seminar featured an elder Russian ballet dancer who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The dancer later used his experience to craft an exercise regimen for others who suffered from the disease. Woo encourages anyone with a passion for helping others and a curiosity about health care to attend.