FOR RELEASE: Nov. 2, 2018

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GREAT FALLS, MONTANA –  The first class of Medical Assistant (MA) students from the University of Providence School of Health Professions will be graduating Nov. 3 in Portland, Oregon. This inaugural MA graduation ceremony will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Providence Portland Medical Center Chapel. The first five students receiving their certificate through the University of Providence are: Amanda “Rose” Hall, Stephanie Tobias, Jammie Fulgencio, Kary Meredith and Amanda Henderson.

“This is a time to celebrate this landmark program and the first cohort of students,” says Judy Ramento, medical assistant program director, MN, RN, RNC-LRN, CCM, CMAC. “I am so proud of their accomplishment. Their dedication of time and true commitment to learning and earning this certificate can be stated in three words: job well done.”

To date 80 percent of the students have been offered and/or accepted positions within the Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) system in the medical assistant role. Two of the students will be rotating in the medical assistant float pool to cover the high need areas for clinic support in the upcoming months due to holidays and illnesses.

The first cohort of students for the Medical Assistant program began in January 2018 and was piloted in Oregon. The hybrid model enables students to complete 80 percent of their didactic training online with the remaining 20 percent of the course taking place in the skills training lab in Wilsonville, Oregon. The students attend a total of 11 skills training labs on Saturdays, spread out over the course of 10 months. Additionally, their final practicum course is 160 hours (unpaid) with an assigned preceptor, where they perform the skills they have been taught in a clinic. The university works with local health facilities to coordinate clinical sites.

The graduating students have sat for the National Certification Examination and will have earned their certificate as a Clinical Medical Assistant Certified (CMAC), which the PSJH system acknowledges as a hiring credential.

“Our first cohort is incredibly prepared for the roles they are about to take on,” says Ramento. “After graduation, each student will set out to serve, with excellence through application of knowledge, those patients and families who have been entrusted in their care.”

A second cohort of the medical assistant program started Sept. 2018 in Oregon with a total of 11 students from Washington and Oregon. They will complete the program in June 2019. Plans to launch to programs in Montana and Washington are underway for 2019.

The University of Providence (UP) is a ministry of Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) and sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Students have access to a quality education with a direct connection to the healthcare industry with the partnership between UP and PSJH.

The University of Providence is a private Catholic university located in Great Falls, Montana. Founded in 1932, the university includes both a School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a School of Health Professions. For more information, go to www.uprovidence.edu.