Finding a cure for the shortage of medical assistants
The dearth of educational opportunities for physician assistants in Maui is being addressed through a collaborative effort between Kaua’i Community College and the University of Hawai’i Maui College. UHMC and Kaua’i CC have launched a partnership for graduate medical assistants in Maui, allowing them to take courses from the Kaua’i CC Accredited Medical Assistance Program without leaving Maui.
“Having access to the KauaiCC MEDa program means a better future for us, so that we are better able to provide for our families,” said Kisha Lei Agcaoili, a Kaua’i CC MEDA student in Maui.
According to the 2019 Hawaii Health Care Workforce Initiative Report, there is a very clear need for medical assistants in the state of Hawaii, with health clinics in greatest need. Health care employers in Maui have approached UHMC to find a way for Maui to train more certified medical assistants.
This unique new collaborative program has been developed to provide access to the Kaua’i CC Medical Assistance Program for Outer Island students using existing resources within the UH Community College system.
“I have 10 master’s students in Kaua’i and 4 in Maui this year,” said Victoria Mathis, coordinator of the medical assistance program at Kaua’i CC. “I am very happy to be able to teach the Synchronous Courses and to offer Maui students the opportunity to earn their Certified Masters Degree next May.”
The medical assistant courses are transmitted by videoconference from Kaua’i CC while the laboratory courses are held face to face at the UHMC. “We can interact via Zoom with our classmates in Kauai and also be able to gain hands-on experience with our labs,” said Janessa Miguel, a Kaua’i CC MEDA student in Maui.
Photo courtesy of Kaua’i CC