Graduates of Moraine Park Technical College’s Medical Assistant year-long cohort were (front row, left to right) Instructor Erin Best, Penny Colton, Sherry Reifsnider, Stacy Mack, Jason Raue; (back row) President Bonnie Baerwald, Alyssa Frane, Jennifer Hanneman, Gina Smith, Melissa Kreis, Ray Swinson, Laura Maloney, Instructor Eric Ziebell and Instructor Charlene Pettit.

Graduates of Moraine Park Technical College’s Medical Assistant year-long cohort were (front row, left to right) Instructor Erin Best, Penny Colton, Sherry Reifsnider, Stacy Mack, Jason Raue; (back row) President Bonnie Baerwald, Alyssa Frane, Jennifer Hanneman, Gina Smith, Melissa Kreis, Ray Swinson, Laura Maloney, Instructor Eric Ziebell and Instructor Charlene Pettit.

Ten students have successfully completed Moraine Park Technical College’s Medical Assistant (MA) first year-long cohort at the College’s West Bend campus.

Graduating were Alyssa Frane of Mayville, Jennifer Hanneman of Fond du Lac, Gina Smith of Eden, Melissa Kreis of Juneau, Ray Swinson of Fond du Lac, Laura Maloney of West Bend, Penny Colton of Fond du Lac, Sherry Reifsnider of Beaver Dam, Stacy Mack of Saukville and Jason Raue of Mayville.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) ACT 4 Healthcare Grant program, the Medical Assistant program at the West Bend campus condenses a 35-credit technical diploma program into a one-year cohort model including a set Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, with Friday lab time and intrusive advising for targeted student support.

“Twenty students are expected to complete the program over the three-year grant,” said Bobbi Fields, Medical Assistant instructor and program director, “qualifying them to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) exam and obtain employment as a medical assistant.”

Employer partners for practicum experiences include: Agnesian HealthCare, Froedtert Healthcare, UW Health and Aurora Healthcare.

“Many career opportunities exist for medical assistants. Over 97 percent of our medical assistant graduates are employed within one year of graduation,” Fields said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects occupation growth at a rate much greater than average.

“The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients,”  Fields said, adding “Although many of our students gain employment as clinical medical assistants in physician offices, some will obtain employment in other healthcare settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers and insurance companies.”

Because the training for this position prepares students to complete both clinical and administrative tasks, some graduates have also become employed in administrative roles as insurance specialists, prior authorization specialists and administrative medical assistants.

“For those who wish to advance their education, our medical assistant program ladders into Moraine Park’s new Medical Office Management associate degree program,” Fields said.

All 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges, including Moraine Park, are three-year grant recipients, with each institution developing its own supplemental healthcare programs under the Act 4 Healthcare consortium project.

“Moraine Park already offers the regular MA program part time or full time at our Beaver Dam and Fond du Lac campuses,” said Anne Lemke, TAACCCT 3 and 4 grant manager. “The employer demand is steadily growing. With the grant-funded program, we felt there was a need for this cohort model offering at our West Bend campus.”

The second MA cohort is already in progress, planning to complete in September of 2017.

To discover more, visit morainepark.edu/4health or call Moraine Park at 920-924-3329.