Students’ medical assistant (MA) goals within reach thanks to reimbursement from the Kings County EDC

When students signed up for a new Medical Assistant Program through Adventist Health and COPE Health Solutions on September 30, 2021, they had no idea their tuition would be fully covered.

During a recent virtual Microsoft Teams meeting, the 14 students who enrolled in the seven-month program, were notified that the Kings County Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC) and Adventist Health would reimburse the program, which would cover the cost of each student’s $2,800 tuition fee.

“I was very excited when I learned that my tuition would be fully covered,” says Olga Nunez, Patient Care Coordinator at Adventist Health Medical Office – Earlimart. “It’s a great way to show how much our organization and community partners care about our professional growth.”

KCEDC and the Job Training Office is recognized for helping bring employment opportunities to Kings County and was thrilled at the chance to help remove any financial barriers for the students to achieve their dreams.

“The Job Training Office is grateful for the partnership with Adventist Health to provide upskilling opportunities through the COPE training program to current employees of Adventist Health,” says Lance Lippincott, Director of Economic and Workforce Development. “Healthcare workers are an ongoing priority for the Job Training Office, and this program is essential to helping address gaps in the workforce.”

“When Adventist Health launched the program in late 2021, we were excited at the possibilities of training students within the MA field and inspiring them to remain in the profession locally, where there is a great demand,” says Sonja Reyna, Operations executive for Adventist Health in the Central Valley. “Collaborating with KCEDC in helping make the program more affordable, was a pleasant bonus.”

In addition to removing financial barriers, the program also removes geographic barriers that exist in rural areas of the Central Valley. Instead of visiting a physical classroom, the students are able to complete all classroom training online, and at their own pace.

“After work on Thursdays, I go home and cook something quick for my three small children before my virtual class begins,” says Nunez. “I am able to do homework at my own pace, and Boot Camp for labs are very convenient because they occur on Sundays when I have a day off. Management has also been very supportive by giving me time off, when needed.”

Once the program ends on June 3, 2022, the students will be eligible to be hired as MAs and will qualify to sit for a national certification exam. If they pass the exam, they are promoted to a certified MA role.

To learn more about the COPE MA program, visit: https://copehealthscholars.org/programs/medical-assistant-school/

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