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HCC Medical Assistant Program Becomes Newest Addition to CAAHEP Approved Program List in Illinois

FREEPORT � Following rigorous evaluation by the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB), Highland Community College�s medical assistant program was granted initial accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This important designation allows medical assistant program graduates to acquire certification through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), one of the most widely-accepted standards in the allied health care field.

�For employers, accreditation means that they will have the opportunity to hire certified medical assistants,� said Alicia Kepner, Highland�s medical assistant program coordinator. �Previously, finding certified medical assistants was a challenge for local health care organizations.� funny dog pictures

The CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam is the only credential that requires graduation from an accredited medical assistant program and recertification every 60 months. Employment prospects for medical assistants continue to grow faster than average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, particularly for those with the nationally-recognized CMA distinction.

�This is a notable accomplishment and absolutely critical for our program graduates to gain employment,� said Dr. Joe Kanosky, president of Highland Community College. �This has been a lengthy process for Alicia Kepner and Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Donna Kauke, who are to be commended for their hard work in ushering this program to its initial certification.�

Highland is one of only 22 CAAHEP-approved programs in Illinois, and the only medical assisting program in the state to receive accreditation within the past three months. CAAHEP receives recommendations from MAERB based not only on the academic curriculum and facilities, but program completion rates and local employer support. funny pictures

Based on demand from regional health care providers, Highland began offering medical assistant training in August 2009. This first cohort produced 10 graduates in June 2010, furthering the accreditation process. After acquiring necessary data from the initial graduating class, a comprehensive self-study of the program was submitted to MAERB in December 2010. The final review, an on-site visit from MAERB members, was conducted in April 2011 resulting in the program�s recommendation. funny images

�I am so proud of these students for sticking with the program and for helping to make our program successful,� said Kepner of the tedious accreditation process. �They have made sacrifices in very uncertain economic times and I applaud them for their commitment and hard work.�

Individuals interested in learning more about medical assisting program requirements should contact program coordinator Alicia Kepner at 815.599.3682. Scheduled dates and times for mandatory informational sessions can also be found at

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is a programmatic postsecondary accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and carries out its accrediting activities in cooperation with 18 review committees (Committees on Accreditation). CAAHEP currently accredits over 2100 entry level education programs in 22 health science professions. funny photos

The Medical Assisting Education Review Board is an autonomous unit within the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) Endowment. They complete program reviews, based on the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for Accreditation of Educational Programs in Medical Assisting. As the medical assisting Committee on Accreditation of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the MAERB makes accreditation recommendations for the status of accreditation of medical assisting programs.

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Freeport, IL 61032-9341

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