UH Community Colleges collaborate to address medical assistant shortageUniversity of Hawaiʻi
MEDA Program Coordinator, Kaua‘i Community College
University of Hawaiʻi Maui College and Kauaʻi Community College have launched a partnership to graduate medical assistants on Maui. This collaborative program allows students to take classes from Kauaʻi CC’s accredited medical assisting (MEDA) program without leaving Maui. Classes are transmitted via video conference from Kauaʻi CC while the lab classes are held face-to-face at UH Maui College.
“I have 10 medical assisting students on Kauaʻi and four on Maui this year. 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 medical assistants next May,” said Victoria Mathis, medical assisting program coordinator at Kauaʻi CC.
UH’s collaborative program provides access to neighbor island students by using existing resources within the UH Community College system.
Janessa Miguel, a Kauaʻi CC MEDA student on Maui said, “We get to interact via Zoom with our Kauaʻi classmates and also are able to get hands-on experience on with our labs.”
According to the Hawaii Health Care Workforce Initiative Report (2019), there is a very clear need for medical assistants in the state of Hawaiʻi, with 106 openings representing 10 percent of medical assistant positions in the state. Medical assistants work in medical offices and outpatient clinics and are the main medical support staff in these areas. Healthcare employers on Maui approached UH Maui College seeking certified medical assistant graduates.
“Having access to the Kauaʻi CC medical assisting program means better futures for us, so that we are better able to provide for our families,” said Kisha Lei Agcaoili, Kauaʻi CC MEDA student on Maui.