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Adventist Health to Offer Innovative Medical Assistant Training Program

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The following is a press release issued by Adventist Health:

[Photograph provided by Adventist Health]

 Adventist Health is partnering with COPE Health Solutions to offer the innovative COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant (MA) program for Mendocino County residents.

There has been a great need for healthcare professionals, including medical assistants and recruitment has been a challenge for hospitals and clinics especially in a rural community. This new program will allow Adventist Health, which operates three hospitals and 21 clinics in Mendocino County to grow and teach the next generation of medical assistants.

With unemployment in Mendocino County at 7.3%, the program will promote workforce development in the growing field of healthcare, especially since medical assisting is one of the fastest growing fields, with demand expected to increase by 23 percent over the next eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When it comes to healthcare, rural communities find it difficult to recruit physicians and healthcare workers. This is true especially in Mendocino County and includes medical assistants, who are often the first caregiver that patients see in a clinic or medical office as they check blood pressure, temperature and vital signs. Growing their own and providing avenues for residents to join healthcare will not only improve access to care but will also allow the hospital to provide jobs and improve the local economy.

“This program is the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in starting a career in healthcare. We always have openings for MAs with many different types of practices to choose from. Becoming an MA can also be a pathway into more advanced healthcare careers,” explained Shauna de Marquez, director for primary care for Adventist Health in Mendocino County. “Working in healthcare in general is an excellent career today and in the future, especially in our rural community,” she adds.

The COPE Health Scholars MA program is a seven-month educational program that combines virtual courses with 200 hours of hands-on learning and training with patients and clinician mentors. It provides flexibility and the opportunity for students to work at their own pace.

“Opening a new medical assistant school will not only give local students an opportunity to advance in their medical career but will also allow us to expand our mission to care for our communities,” said Judson Howe, president of Adventist Health in the Mendocino. “What’s great about this program is the hands-on experience, as it allows them to learn alongside the people they might be working with after graduation. From a team and patient care perspective, we are already building relationships with great staff who will be integrated into our culture and able to seamlessly transition into delivering exceptional care,” he said.

Graduates of the Scholars program will receive a Certificate of Completion from UCLA Executive Programs in Health Policy and Management. Students who complete the COPE Health Scholars MA program will also be well-positioned to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam pre-accreditation and the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam post accreditation (COPE Health Solutions will apply following the initial graduating cohort), which is considered one of the most desired MA certifications by healthcare providers.

“Adventist Health is a leader in developing a skilled workforce that can adapt to new ways of delivering care and meet the changing health needs of Americans. Providing career opportunities, support and mentorships to meet our communities will grow the healthcare workforce, ensure we have diversity within our workforce, and ultimately provide greater access and quality of care to patients, which is a shared priority for both Adventist Health and COPE Health Solutions. Additionally, the COPE Health Scholars program has been eagerly anticipating developing programs in the Central Valley area, this will be the first program,” said Elizabeth Dubois, DNP, FNP-BC, AAHIVS, the COPE Health Solutions’ senior vice president who is leading the partnership with Adventist Health and a practicing provider at Adventist Health.

Applications are now open until April 31, 2021. Classes will start in June.

For more information on the COPE Health Solutions and the MA School offered by Adventist Health, including application deadlines and process, please visit https://copehealthscholars.org/programs/medical-assistant-school/

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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