The shortage of educational opportunities for medical assistants on Maui is being addressed by a collaborative effort between Kaua‘i Community College and University of Hawai‘i Maui College. UHMC and Kaua‘i CC have launched a partnership to graduate medical assistants on Maui, allowing them to take classes from Kaua‘i CC’s accredited medical assisting program without leaving Maui.
“Having access to the KauaiCC MEDa program means better futures for us, so that we are better able to provide for our families,” said Kisha Lei Agcaoili, a Kaua‘i CC MEDA student on Maui.
According to the 2019 Hawaii Health Care Workforce Initiative Report, there is a very clear need for medical assistants in the state of Hawai‘i, with health care clinics having the greatest need. Healthcare employers on Maui approached UHMC seeking a way for Maui to graduate more certified medical assistants.
This new unique collaborative program was developed to provide access to Kaua‘i CC’s medical assisting program to outer island students by using existing resources within the UH Community College system.
“I have 10 MA students on Kaua’i and 4 on Maui this year,” said Victoria Mathis, medical assisting program coordinator at Kaua’i CC. “I am very excited to be able to teach the synchronous classes and provide the students on Maui with the opportunity to graduate as certified MAs next May.”
Medical assistant classes are transmitted via video conference from Kaua‘i CC while the lab classes are held face-to-face at UHMC. “We get to interact via Zoom with our Kauai classmates and also be able to get hands-on experience on with our labs,” said Janessa Miguel, a Kaua‘i CC MEDA student on Maui.
Photo courtesy of Kaua’i CC