HPH Expands its Medical Assistant Program to 12 O‘ahu High Schools

Kapolei News
Kapiolani Community College Associate Professor and HPH Medical Assistant Training Program Instructor Mae Dorado demonstrates proper techniques for removing protective gloves

On the heels of a successful pilot program, Hawai‘i Pacific Health (HPH) has expanded its Medical Assistant Program to 12 O‘ahu high schools. The unique partnership, believed to be the only one of its kind in the country, is a joint program between HPH and the local high schools to create a curriculum for high school seniors to prepare them for a career as a medical assistant in the health care industry.

“Hawai‘i Pacific Health launched this program in 2018 in response to the growing need for trained medical clinicians in Hawai‘i and the ongoing desire to provide more professional job opportunities for Hawai‘i residents,” said Carl Hinson, Director of Workforce Development for Hawai‘i Pacific Health. “The response to the pilot program during this current school year was overwhelming, and we’re excited to make this opportunity available next school year to more high schools and more students.”

The program initially launched with five participating high schools including Aiea High School, Campbell High School, Kapolei High School, Pearl City High School and Waipahu High School. In addition to these high schools, new high schools participating for the 2019-2020 school year will include Farrington High School, Kaimuki High School, Kaiser High School, Kalani High School, Leilehua High School, McKinley High School and Roosevelt High School.

First cohort of students gather in the Pali Momi Simulation Lab

The deadline for current high school juniors to submit applications for the 2019-2020 Medical Assistant Program is Sunday, March 10, 2019. Applications are available online at HawaiiPacificHealth.org/Careers. Applicants should enter Job ID #11809 for schools in the Honolulu District and Job ID #11810 for the Leeward District. 

The HPH Medical Assistant Program is offered to high school seniors with no tuition costs. The program consists of two semesters of coursework and 225 hours of clinical externships. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, administrative medical assisting and clinical medical assisting, among other classes. Upon completion of the program and achievement of national certification, students will be given primary consideration for employment at an HPH facility – Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center and Wilcox Health on Kaua‘i, which includes Wilcox Medical Center and Kaua‘i Medical Clinic.

Medical assistants play a critical role on the patient care team, working closely with physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in the clinic and hospital setting. They perform administrative and clinical duties that can include greeting patients, scheduling appointments, updating and filing patient medical records, preparing patients for exams, and explaining treatment procedures and physician’s instructions to patients.