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ACC and Centura Health collaborate to establish work-based learning Medical Assistant apprenticeship

Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and Centura Health, the region’s health care leader, are pleased to announce the launch of Colorado’s first registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program designed to meet local workforce needs.
A dozen students are enrolled in the initial cohort of this innovative work-based learning program, which is made possible by funding from the Colorado Workforce Development Council, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Centura Health, and Colorado First and Existing Industry Grants (CFEI) jointly administered by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).
“We are excited to embark upon this unique partnership with Centura Health to benefit both students and industry,” said ACC President Diana M. Doyle, PhD “We extend our gratitude to everyone at Centura Health, the Greater Metro Denver Health Care Partnership and local workforce centers who are committed to supporting this program. Our efforts will provide a sustainable pipeline of talented medical assistants across the Centura network.”
The six-month hybrid program is comprised of online, on-site and hands-on laboratory components. Paid apprentices work collaboratively with Centura Health supervisors for 26 weeks (32 hours/week) prior to taking the National Healthcare Association Medical Assistant certification exam. Apprentices who successfully complete both components become full-time Medical Assistants with Centura.
While this is Centura Health’s second program cohort, the partnership with ACC made it possible to condense what is normally a two-year education track into a focused six-month program that blends education and hands-on training.
“Centura Health established this apprenticeship program as a way to creatively address today’s supply and demand challenges for qualified health care talent,” said Susie Artis, Associate Administrator for Professional Practice and Education, Centura Health Physician Group. “This apprenticeship demonstrates Centura Health’s Mission, Values and commitment to elevating people by providing opportunities for those who may not have been able to pursue a career in health care. We are exploring ideas to add similar programs with other roles.”
For more information about the apprenticeship, please contact ACC Dean of Business, Technology and Workforce Partnerships Eric Dunker, Ph.D., at eric [dot] dunker [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (eric[dot]dunker[at]arapahoe[dot]edu) / 303.797.5859. For additional information about Centura Health, please contact Wendy Forbes at wendyforbes [at] centura [dot] org (wendyforbes[at]centura[dot]org) / 720.321.4304.


Pictured (left to right): Instructor Kristin Marklowitz, Melissa Wasinger, Anastasia Tsurkan, Tadela Shimshak, Natalie Hansen, Joseph Lesniak, Kiros Fiseha, Shannon Coriden, Luisa Chaparro, Athena Lujan, Alicia Phillips and Shelby Wood. Not pictured: Angel Gonzalez.