Two South Haven-area women are among InterCare Community Health Network’s first class of medical assistant apprentices who will soon complete a 12-month program that combines paid on-the-job training with online courses that will empower them. will allow you to pass an exam to become certified clinical physician assistants.
Bloomingdale’s Ana Vazquez and Pullman’s Brenda Parada were among six other medical assistant apprentices who were recognized at a graduation ceremony Sept. 15 at First Congregational Church in South Haven. The other graduates are Brielle Gibson, Daisy Mireles, Maria Palacios, Quenetta Parker, Tammicia Reid and Krissy Thomas.
“We are proud of our graduates and excited to celebrate them,” Velma Hendershott, president and CEO of InterCare, said in a press release. “Their growth and new contributions will help us in our mission to improve the health of our communities.”
Once graduates pass the certification exam, they will work at one of InterCare’s clinics in Bangor, Benton Harbor, Eau Claire, Holland or Pullman.
Physician assistants are trained medical professionals who assist medical care providers (doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) in clinics. They take vital signs, collect and prepare blood samples, perform electrocardiograms, assist providers with procedures, enter data into the patient’s medical record, and have other duties.
The MA Apprentice program provides training for high-paying jobs, fills needed clinic positions and offers InterCare employees and community members the opportunity to advance their careers, according to Hendershott.
The InterCare Physician Assistant Apprenticeship Program was developed in partnership with the Glocal Institute. Other InterCare educational initiatives include a dental assistant apprenticeship program and a partnership with AT Still University for physician assistant clinical internships.
“Many healthcare organizations are struggling to fill vacancies,” said David Burgess, communications and marketing specialist at InterCare. “The Medical Assistant Apprentice program provides a new source to fill vacancies, but it also gives InterCare employees and community members the opportunity to advance their careers and better support their families with better paying jobs. And finally, it benefits the communities we serve. We believe this is a win-win opportunity.
InterCare provides medical, dental and behavioral health services at Community Health Centers in Bangor, Benton Harbor, Eau Claire, Holland and Pullman, as well as Benton Harbor Women’s Health Center, Benton Harbor Student Health Center, an extensive program of outreach for migrant workers and nine WIC program sites.