Patient Care Technician/Assistant in board room

Case Study: Strong Partnership

St. Louis Community College provides healthcare training for medical assistants in a program custom designed for SSM Health Care, a Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award-winning health system. National Healthcareer Association (NHA) powers the certification process.

Exceptional People and Programs, Remarkable Results

Exceptional is the standard at SSM Health Care. Exceptional is in the mission, and it drives decisions and actions for the entire enterprise.

SSM’s commitment to “exceptional” has delivered impressive dividends: The health system was awarded the country’s most prestigious honor for quality in American business – the Malcolm Baldridge National Award for Quality – and it continues to be recognized as one of the best places to work in the St. Louis area.

One of the ways that SSM defines and measures “exceptional” is by the commitment of its physicians and employees. When it comes to training and educating the best medical assistants for its physicians' practices, clinics and hospitals, SSM relies on the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College (STLCC). Competencies are validated with the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) credential from the National Healthcareer Association.

Dr. Roderick Nunn served as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Workforce Solutions at STLCC. He is now interim President at the college’s Forest Park campus. His team worked directly with SSM to design a medical assistant training program that is condensed and tailored to SSM’s skill and competency requirements.

“SSM has high employment standards and is very specific about the kinds of individuals it’s looking for,” said Nunn. “To meet these standards, we built a custom medical assistant curriculum for them, and then topped it off with the CCMA credential from NHA. It’s the seal of approval.”

“SSM has high employment standards and is very specific about the kinds of individuals it’s looking for. To meet these standards, we built a custom medical assistant curriculum for them, and then topped it off with the CCMA credential from NHA. It’s the seal of approval.” — Dr. Roderick Nunn St. Louis Community College

Better Skills, Better Fit, Better Placement

Pat Tubbesing is the Workforce Development Leader at SSM and oversees the medical assistant program with STLCC.

“We wanted our medical assistant program to be very focused as well as cost effective so we could put people to work quickly,” said Tubbesing. “We specified that the CCMA credential from NHA be used because our experience has shown it to be an accurate measurement of competency. We get better qualified and more capable medical assistants, and good people can gain access to good jobs.”

According to Nunn at STLCC, the program is working well and the numbers prove it. “Ninety percent of medical assistant candidates are completing the program,” said Nunn. “And 90 percent of those graduates are obtaining the CCMA credential, with 85 percent being placed. Our healthcare training curriculum is working, and NHA certification verifies it.”

Connecting Employers and Graduates