MCC to Receive Michigan Works! Impact Award for Medical Assistant Program

MCC Medical Assistant Program 1

MCC Medical Assistant student Madison Flint checks the blood pressure of classmate Hannah Shelton.

Muskegon Community College will receive a prestigious 2016 Michigan Works! Impact Award on Wednesday, April 27, at a luncheon in the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing, MI.

West Michigan Works! nominated MCC for the statewide honor for the college’s strategic partnership and collaboration with both the Michigan Works! Association and with community organizations to create a U.S. Department of Labor-registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program.  Partners in the award are: Mercy Health, Grand Rapids Community College and Montcalm Community College.

The Impact Awards recognize significant economic accomplishments within Michigan communities and showcase the impact of newly created jobs, transformational training and effective talent pipeline development.

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Medical Assistant students Courtney Morefield and Shaina Degan check records

MCC faculty member Denise Passage and Pamela Brown, the recently retired director of the MCC Nursing Program, were catalysts in creating the medical assistant apprenticeship. Passage directs

MCC’s Business Technology program and Medical Assistant program. After Brown’s retirement in December, Chris Patterson, the director of Health Programs Development at MCC, assumed responsibility for continuing to help ensure the program’s success.

“The medical assistant apprenticeship program is being watched closely as a model by other states,” explained Patterson. “It is the first of its kind for medical assisting and was created through collaboration of Muskegon Community College, Montcalm Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan Works, Spectrum Health, Cherry Health, and Mercy Health.”

“Our goal for the program is to meet the needs of our healthcare partners by increasing the number of students who successfully complete the program, which fits well with the mission of Muskegon Community College,” she added.

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MCC Medical Assistant Instructor Denise Passage with the students.

Students in the apprenticeship program work for one of the community partners three days a week and attend MCC two days a week.  This allows the students to gain experience while getting paid to work and to attend college.

The 12-month medical assistant certificate program at MCC prepares graduates to perform administrative and clinical duties under the direction of the physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and billing and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physicians.

MCC is formally recognized by American Medical Technologists (AMT), a national certification agency for allied health professionals. Students completing the Medical Assistant program are eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination.

For more information on MCC’s Medical Assistant program, visit