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New Medical Assistant Program Boosts Adventist Health's Employment Pipeline

Analysis  |  By Jasmyne Ray  
   April 08, 2022

The COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant Program is a hybrid model education initiative to develop a new generation of healthcare workers.

A new program that gives Adventist Health a "leading edge" in employee recruitment and retention graduated its first group of students this week.

The COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant Program launched last year with the goal of providing a path to a career in healthcare to the Adventist Health's employees and members in the communities it serves. The program also provides a pipeline of talent that the system can use for recruiting.

"The COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant Program is designed to help develop the next generation of healthcare workers," Elizabeth DuBois, DNP, FNP-BC, AAHIV, and a provider with COPE Health Solutions said in a statement. "Healthcare is changing and expanding, from rising virtual visits to addressing social barriers such as food and housing security."

The program takes seven months to complete,  with hands-on clinical training, as well as virtual self-study course work and in-person training with professionals. Students learn the necessary skills and foundational knowledge they would need to work as a medical assistant in a clinical environment.

Adventist Health has a "leading edge" in the way the industry approaches the recruitment and retention of employees, as well as producing a capable workforce, DuBois said.

Development of the program is part of a larger effort by the system to ensure that it is a "resilient, sustainable, and equitable organization," said Doris Tetz Carpenter, human performance executive for Adventist Health.

New  graduate  Nancy Villegas  enrolled in the program after completing her associate's degree in allied health and considering other education options to advance her career. At the time, she was already working as a medical screener at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Hospital.

"A big point for me is that the program is local. I didn't have to move or quit my job," she said. "The virtual coursework gives you flexibility, too."

“The COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant Program is designed to help develop the next generation of healthcare workers.”

Jasmyne Ray is the contributing editor for revenue cycle at HealthLeaders. 


The program also serves as a talent pipeline for Adventist Health.

Over the seven months, students participate in virtual self-study and in-person training.

Students also work with professionals to learn the skills needed in a clinical setting.

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