Kaiser Permanente, Seattle Colleges Offer Scholarships for Medical Assistant Students
by Julie Popper
Our region needs more Medical Assistants and Seattle’s students need more access to sustainable careers. That’s whyKaiser Permanente teamed up with Seattle Colleges to create the Career Launch Scholarship program to train Medical Assistants, the frontline care providers who welcome patients into medical offices by taking and charting vitals and helping physicians provide great care. The program, which enrolled eighteen future MAs in 2018, provides full tuition plus expenses for books and supplies to support 24 entering students in fall 2019. Students can apply now by completing the Seattle Colleges application process and then the scholarship application.
“I’d love to be a Medical Assistant working in a doctor’s office and have a stable job and still be able to spend time with my family,” said Michelle Ortiz, a member of the 2018 scholarship cohort. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do something I want with my life, thanks to Kaiser Permanente and Seattle Colleges. Without the scholarship I don’t think that would be possible.”
The new Medical Assistant students are entering Seattle Central College this fall with the backing of fully paid tuition and expenses, professional development workshops, and college navigation. These wrap-around supports ensure students can complete the program successfully with the experience they need to be excellent caregivers.
“This partnership connects Kaiser Permanente’s innovations in health care to learning in the classroom and ensures our students are trained to the highest standard in the field. We hope this partnership will serve as a model for other career training programs at Seattle Colleges,” said Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan.
Demand for Medical Assistants in our region continues to grow with the demand for health care and services. Seattle-area MAs earn about $40,000 each year and overwhelmingly have access to benefits and paid time off. Studies show that Medical Assistants can improve health outcomes when fully trained and working to fill critical roles.
“Nothing is more critical to providing great health care than great health care staff,” said Susan Mullaney, President of Kaiser Permanente Washington. “By teaming up with the Seattle Colleges and the City to support these Medical Assistant students, we’re investing in the future of excellent care in our region.”
Students will complete their training next August after four quarters at Seattle College and will participate in professional development workshops and externship throughout their program. Upon successful completion of their program, students will be certified to work as Medical Assistants at an employer of their choice. The scholarship program is slated to run for three years, welcoming a total of sixty students.