Suffolk County Community College teams up with Catholic Health to train physician assistants

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A new program to train medical assistants – and help place them in jobs – starts in November at Suffolk County Community College in conjunction with Catholic Health.

The 7.5-month continuing education program would cost students around $3,000 and initially aims to enroll 24 students. The course combines online classes with on-campus labs, as well as clinical practice rotations at Catholic healthcare facilities.

Catholic Health, which helped develop the course, would also provide job placement counseling and tuition assistance to its own employees who enroll.

Carol Wickliffe-Campbell, chief of staff to SCCC president Edward Bonahue, said the program grew out of discussions with the president of Catholic Health about critical workforce needs and signaled a desire to expand pathways. workforce development training. “We hope to see more to meet the needs of more employers on Long Island,” she said.

Dr Liesl Jones, vice president of academic affairs, told SCCC, an open-entry college, that the program would accept any applicant with a high school diploma and a background in health care. not required. A certificate would lead to a “well-paying job,” she said, or could be the first step toward further study in a health profession like nursing.

The Suffolk County Department of Labor will also advertise applicants and target underserved communities in Suffolk, offering grants to some eligible students. SCCC has campuses in Selden, Riverhead and Brentwood.

Online courses in topics such as medical terminology with an emphasis on anatomy and physiology, electronic health records and administrative assistance, clinical medical assisting, and clinical practice in areas such as phlebotomy , vital signs and electrocardiograms, will be combined with laboratories at SCCC’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead and the Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood.

College officials said they would seek other health system partners as the program expands.

It would join existing physician assistant training programs on Long Island, including those offered by Molloy University in Rockville Center and Adelphi University in Garden City; by Nassau BOCES Adult Education (with tuition of $5,995); and Nassau Community College, which offers both an associate’s degree and a three-semester certificate program.

Northwell Health funds scholarships for employees to certify at the NCC through a partnership they call “Earn and Learn,” in exchange for a one-year work commitment at Northwell Health in as a medical assistant.

A number of City College of New York community colleges and private career schools also offer degrees and certificates in the field, where demand is growing.

In a statement, Catholic Health President and CEO Patrick O’Shaughnessy said, “Physician Assistants provide much-needed support to our clinical teams, not only in our hospitals, but also in our many medical practices and ambulatory care facilities. By partnering with Dr. Bonahue and Suffolk County Community College, we can cultivate talent to help improve the health of Long Islanders.

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