CENTRAL VALLEY — Adventist Health announced today it is partnering with COPE Health Solutions to offer the innovative COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant (MA) program for Central Valley residents.
With unemployment ranging from 10% to 11% in Valley counties, the program will promote workforce development in the growing field of healthcare, especially as the medical assistant profession is expected to grow by 19% by 2029. When it comes to healthcare, rural communities find it difficult to retain physicians and medical professionals. This 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 other key health indicators. In fact, a recent poll shows one in three Californians believes their community does not have enough caregivers, yet in rural areas that number jumps to 50%.
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 enrollees 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 allow us to expand our mission to care for our communities,” said Andrea Kofl, president of Adventist Health in the Central Valley. “Our sacred work calls us to care for the whole person, treating their health needs as well as ensuring access to a healthier and more fulfilling future.”
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.
For more information on COPE Health Solutions and the MA School offered by Adventist Health, including application deadlines and process, please visit copehealthscholars.org/programs/medical-assistant-school/.
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