“We were very pleased to learn this program was selected even during a very difficult financial season for UAS,” said PeaceHealth’s Vice President for Ambulatory Services Michele Budd.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a new Medical Assistant Certificate program for the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) during its September meeting in Juneau. Health employers in the region—including PeaceHealth (Ketchikan), SEARHC, and Valley Medical Clinic in Juneau—testified in support of the proposal.
“We were very pleased to learn this program was selected even during a very difficult financial season for UAS,” said PeaceHealth’s Vice President for Ambulatory Services Michele Budd. “PeaceHealth is committed to supporting and enhancing this program and other medical education programs in any way possible for the benefit of communities throughout Southeast Alaska.” UAS expects the program to begin in Fall 2015.
PeaceHealth joined UAS in the early stages of developing the proposal in 2012 as part of an Innovation Program to provide better coordinated and preventative care in rural communities. Other employers subsequently expressed their support as the proposal was crafted under a grant from the Alaska Workforce Investment Board (AWIB).
The university expects that the program will be implemented in line with national accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) according to Lori Hart, health faculty member at the UAS Sitka Campus.
UAS Provost Rick Caulfield said the program aligns with the UA system’s Shaping Alaska’s Future initiative by meeting workforce needs in partnership with public and private entities. The program was developed in coordination with similar UA programs in Anchorage and Fairbanks. It will be housed administratively at the UAS Sitka Campus but most of the required courses will be available online.
Medical Assistants are an important part of any doctor’s office. They perform administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Measuring patients' vital signs, recording information in medical record keeping systems, and assisting in procedures are just a few of the many tasks they perform in the clinic setting.