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Hanford medical assistant Rossana Cobian, who usually serves in a medical office, volunteered to help in the hospital during the December COVID-19 surge. Image via Adventist Health

published on March 30, 2021 - 3:58 PM
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Everyone by now knows the struggles the Central Valley has with having enough health care providers.

Now one local health system is bringing a new program to the region to help address it.

Adventist Health is introducing COPE Health Solutions Medical Assistant program in partnership with UCLA.

Applications are now open until July 31, and the program starts in September with Adventist Health in the Central Valley. Adventist Health in the Central Valley will accept 20 students the first round, who are set to graduate in April 2022.

The program is not yet accredited, but after the first round of medical assistant program graduates, COPE Health Solutions will be applying for accreditation.

COPE Health Solutions has already been operating in Adventist Health Southern California locations, and this will be its first partnership in the Central Valley.

The program creates a pathway for those interested in the medical field.

The COPE Health Scholars Medical Assistant program will promote the health care workforce, particularly in the medical assistant sector, which is expected to grow 19% by 2029 across the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Grooming these professionals in the Central Valley remains a priority in rural communities.

“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.”

The seven-month program combines virtual courses with 200 hours of training.

Graduates of the Scholars program will receive a Certificate of Completion from UCLA Executive Programs in Health Policy and Management. Before the program is accredited, graduates will be well-positioned to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam, according to a news release. After planned accreditation, graduates will be able to take the Certified Medical Assistant exam.

“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,” said Elizabeth Dubois, COPE Health Solutions senior vice president. “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.”

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