Spoon River College recently partnered with Graham Health System to provide currently employed medical assistants the opportunity to attend a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Bootcamp, facilitated by Melissa Miller, director of Allied Health at Spoon River College.

Following completion of the camp, twenty-six GHS employees were eligible to sit for the National HealthCareer Association’s CCMA Certification Exam.

“Currently, in the State of Illinois, medical assistants do not have to be nationally certified to work as a medical assistant,” said Miller. “However, many healthcare facilities pay certified medical assistants a higher wage than someone who is not certified.”

Graham Health System employees who took part received a weekly stipend to attend the seven weeks-long camp, and upon successful completion of the exam will also receive an hourly pay increase.

Miller said the CCMA Bootcamp was created for those already working in healthcare who are performing medical assistant type job duties in their current position. “Besides a pay increase, these employees benefit by strengthening their knowledge and clinical skills, and being prepared to sit for the national exam.”

Spoon River College funded the CCMA Bootcamp using a PATH Grant (Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare Workforce) they were awarded from the Illinois Community College Board with monies received from the State of Illinois for distribution to community colleges. The goal of the grant was to create, support, and expand opportunities of individuals within the healthcare pathway.