On Wednesday, November 6, at the 2019 National Health Science Conference luncheon session in St. Louis, Missouri, the National Consortium for Health Science Education celebrated the contributions of Carole Stacy to health science education by awarding her the NCHSE honorary life member recognition.
Carole taught health science in Michigan at an area technology center for thirteen years. During that time, Carole was president of the Health Occupations Educators teacher organization. In 1979, the MI Health State Supervisor invited Carole to attend the 2nd annual HOSA national conference in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Carole was so impressed with HOSA, she started the first HOSA local chapter in Michigan which soon spread to more chapters. Carole had the first Michigan HOSA State President in her local chapter who attended the 1981 HOSA national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Today, Michigan HOSA is the seventh-largest chartered association, approaching 8,000 members. It’s easy to trace this success back to Carole’s early belief in the student organization.
Carole served as the health science state leader at the Michigan Department of Education for eleven years. Under her leadership, the name changed from Health Occupations to Health Science, the implementation of career clusters occurred and the state experienced major growth in health science education programs.
In July 1991, Carole accepted an invitation to a meeting in Sacramento, California hosted by the National Center for Research in Vocational Education (NCRVE). The meeting’s purpose was to determine if and how a national consortium for health careers education could help meet current and future workforce of the healthcare industry and educational demands in health science secondary and postsecondary programs. There was emphasis on networking and sharing state and organizational reports, which subsequently became so valued this practice has become a standard agenda item at NCHSE board meetings. Carole became the secretary for the next nine years. In 2001, when she left her role at MI DOE, Carole Stacy became the first NCHSE Executive Director, a position she held for seventeen years until February 2018.
Other contributions in health science included being a part of NCHSE partnership with Far West Laboratory created by a federal grant program with the goal to develop the National Healthcare Skill Standards; today known as the National Health Science Standards. From this work, the United States Department of Education moved to develop clusters with health science, finance, manufacturing, and transportation being the first clusters implemented. Health Science led the way and drafted the template for all the work that followed. Initial clusters were only to be for grades 9 through 12. NCHSE took a stand that 9th grade was too late for students to start thinking/preparing for a career. The Health Science Cluster encompassed pre-K-12th grade.
Currently in Carole’s “preferment,” she is involved professional nursing organizations, as the President of ANA-Michigan and a board member of the Coalition of Michigan Organizations of Nursing. Carole is the faculty advisor of the Michigan Student Nurses’ Association and primary nurse planner for the Healthcare Association of Michigan (HCAM), an umbrella organization for skilled and assisted living facilities in Michigan. Through this work, grant funding has been secured to develop a statewide training program for healthcare workers who work with dementia patients.
Carole has been known to travel in her spare time and has visited all of the continents except Antarctica. Carole has been extremely successful in blending hard work and making time for extensive travel.
The NCHSE Honorary Life Member Award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the quality of health science education nationally. Carole is well-known beyond her own area of service. She has been the heart of this organization and her efforts as a NCHSE leader deserve to be recognized. NCHSE is indeed pleased to honor Carole Stacy for her tireless advocacy for health science. We truly appreciate her highest form of leadership that has positively impacted the work of the National Consortium for Health Science Education.