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Sun Life Health and Central Arizona College Partner to Address Medical Assistant Shortage


Sun Life Health, in collaboration with Central Arizona College (CAC), is taking a proactive step to address the significant shortage of medical assistants in Arizona through a strategic partnership supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Grant Program. This initiative seeks to enhance the availability of trained medical professionals across the state, meeting the growing healthcare demands driven by an aging population.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14% increase in employment for medical assistants from 2022 to 2032, significantly outpacing the average growth rate for all occupations. This surge is expected due to the aging baby-boom population and the consequent rise in health concerns among older age groups. An estimated 114,600 job openings for medical assistants are anticipated annually over the decade, largely due to retirement and career changes among current workers.

To combat this shortage and prepare a new generation of medical professionals, the partnership between Sun Life Health and CAC's Medical Assistant program will provide comprehensive support to students. This includes funding for tuition, course materials, CPR/First Aid certification, and the credentialing exam fees. Additionally, the program offers intensive wrap-around services to ensure students receive all necessary aids for their educational journey.

Participants in the program, particularly young individuals aged 16-24 from Pinal and Maricopa counties, will not only work towards an Associate of Applied Science degree in a rapidly growing health profession but also gain practical experience through practicums at one of Sun Life Health's 14 locations. This hands-on experience is designed to seamlessly transition students into medical assistant roles immediately after completing their program requirements.

Lisa Mahone, Program Director and Professor of the Medical Assistant program at Central Arizona College, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, "This is an amazing opportunity for local youth to earn a valuable degree and directly contribute to alleviating the state's shortage of medical assistants. We are thrilled that Sun Life Health has selected our program for this initiative, and we hope to continue this partnership for many years, benefiting our community and the healthcare system at large."

This collaboration highlights a targeted approach to workforce development, ensuring that the increasing healthcare needs of Arizona's residents are met by well-trained and dedicated professionals ready to serve their communities.
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Tuesday, 18 June 2024

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