newsletter header
In the Dec. 2010 Issue
Banner Year for Professions on CAAHEP's Website
2011 CAAHEP Annual Meeting - Keynote Speaker Announced
Spotlight on: Medical Assisting
Health Care Careers eLetter
Accreditation Actions



Wishing you a Wonderful
Holiday Season

a Healthy and Happy
New Year


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Programs are Talking...

And here's what they are saying about CAAHEP accreditation...

"CAAHEP accreditation gives credibility to our program and the profession of clinical exercise physiology"  
Samuel Headley, PhD
Exercise Science & Sport Studies
Springfield College
Springfield, MA

"Students who graduate from our program are automatically qualified to sit for the AAMA exam and become CMAs. Because we are a CAAHEP accredited program, we are constantly seeking to improve and enhance our program in order to stay in compliance with the high standards set by CAAHEP. Employers in our community know we are training our students to CAAHEP standards and that makes our students the most in demand group of graduates in our area."

Holly Elliott, RMA

Program Chair

Mecical Assistant Certificate Program

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Cincinnati, OH


 Message from the President
LaCheeta McPherson Picture
LaCheeta McPherson, PhD, MLS (ASCP) cm

In my last Communiqué message, I promised a follow up report on the Board of Director's planning retreat.  The two-day retreat was held in Tampa, Florida, the last weekend in October, with a theme of "Charting the Future: Some Introspective Questions."  The retreat was facilitated by former CAAHEP board member, Dr. David Gibson. 


As indicated by Dr. Gibson's report, the background for this planning session was a reflective need for self-examination as well as current national accreditation reports that took umbrage at the value of regional accreditation and suggestions that the accreditation process was plagued with lack of transparency and filled with self-interest.  Guiding questions were developed and prior to our retreat, each board member was asked to respond to the questions.


The board explored the function of CAAHEP as compared to its mission. We reviewed essential operations and the role of the board. Finally the board developed resolutions that could serve as guidance for further action.  Here are some of those resolutions:


  1. To diversify the membership of the Performance Oversight Committee and Planning and Development Committee to include commissioners or CoA representatives. 
  2. To clarify the role of each of these committees.
  3. To re-focus the role of the board toward governance vs operational activities.
  4. To re-structure the format of board meetings.
  5. To identify trends related to accreditation or educational initiatives that may impact accreditation and "big picture" policy issues.


Dr. Gibson did an exceptional job of keeping the meeting and board on target with the result of some definitive actions that will become apparent to the CAAHEP community as we progress with changes in the spring.


Since this is my last message to you all for the 2010 year, I want to wish you all a safe and joyful holiday season. We have already begun the plans for our leadership meeting in January 2011.  So I will see many of you early in the new year. 




Banner Year for Professions on CAAHEP's Website
The professions in which CAAHEP accredits programs gained a lot of interest and exposure in 2010 from visitors to the CAAHEP website. Every CAAHEP accredited program has a link from the CAAHEP site to the program's website, allowing potential students direct access to additional information about the accredited programs. The following chart shows, by profession, the number of individuals who searched for information on accredited programs in the health sciences professions through CAAHEP's website in 2010.


Search Totals

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer


Medical Assistant


Cardiovascular Technologist


Surgical Technology


Polysomnographic Technologist


Anesthesiologist Assistant


Surgical Assisting


Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist


Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic






Orthotic & Prosthetics




Exercise Physiology


Exercise Science


Medical Illustrator


Specialist in Blood Banking


Personal Fitness



2011 CAAHEP Annual Meeting
CAAHEP is pleased to announce the keynote speaker for the 2011 CAAHEP Annual Meeting will be renowned surgeon, author, and pilot, Dr. Richard Karl, who will address how airline safety protocols can be applied to health care to make for improved surgical outcomes.  Be sure to join us for the 2011 meeting -  Memphis Beat: In Tune with the Future of Higher Education - April 10-11, 2011, at the Westin Memphis Beale Street, in Memphis, Tennessee.  Visit the CAAHEP website for additional information on the 2011 Annual Meeting.
2011 CAAHEP Annual Meeting logo
Spotlight on:  Medical Assisting

The medical assisting profession began as a general support staff position, without a specific group or professional identity. Workers trained on the job, and duties varied widely according to the needs of the worksite. Medical assistants have traditionally worked in ambulatory care centers, urgent care facilities, and clinics, but the profession cMedical Assistant Fact Boxontinues to expand into other health care settings.

In 1956 the American Association of Medical Assistants held its charter meeting in Milwaukee, Wis., forming the first national organization dedicated exclusively to the medical assisting profession. The association's first president was Maxine Williams. The medical assisting profession has grown to employ hundreds of thousands of health care workers, with four major organizations that offer different medical assisting certification.   

In 1969, the first three medical assisting programs were accredited. This number had grown to 82 in 1974, 142 in 1979, 241 in 1990, and 303 in 1995. When AAMA certification policy changed in the late 1990's, the number of accredited programs increased rapidly, with 600 programs having been accredited by the end of 2000, and today stands at 636 CAAHEP accredited medical assisting programs.        

Medical assistants perform a wide variety of clinical and administrative duties required to keep medical offices running smoothly. Although duties vary with differences in practice specialty, administrative tasks often include updating and filing medical records, scheduling patient appointments, filling out insurance forms, performing billing and collection procedures, and handling bookkeeping and other financial matters. Clinical tasks vary by state law, but can include taking vital signs, preparing patients for examinations, drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, removing sutures or changing dressings, and assisting physicians with examinations. Finally, medical assistants serve as the central link between patients and physicians, and therefore must maintain excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Although not required by law, many employers prefer or even require that their medical assistants earn certification to ensure standards of knowledge and skill needed to work in the contemporary medical office. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the American Medical Technologists (AMT) offer the two most prominent medical assisting credentials: the CMA (AAMA), and the RMA (AMT), respectively.

As the health care field continues to grow, so too does the medical assisting profession. Employment projects to grow much faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations of the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A great challenge to the medical assisting profession arises from terminology. Many physicians and other health care professionals refer to working medical assistants as "nurses" in the office setting. However, medical assistants are not nurses, and should not refer to themselves (or be referred to) as such, since legal issues can arise from the mistake. In some states, medical assistants have been told that they need to become medication aides/assistants in order to be delegated the administration of medication by a physician. This is incorrect, provided medical assistants work under the direct supervision of a physician.

With the recent focus on team-based health care and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) initiative, medical assistants play an integral role in patient care. Since the PCMH model relies on increased communication between physicians, patients, and their families, health care requires professionals who can bridge this gap. As staff who have historically played this role, medical assistants can expect demand for the profession to increase as the team-based model of care gains prominence.

Health Care Careers eLetter: Where is the medical assistant field headed?

In today's changing health care landscape, the medical assisting profession faces a host of challenges and opportunities. Recently the American Association of Medical Assistants Board of Trustees met in Chicago to grapple with these and other issues:

  • Ensuring continued high quality of care
  • Making sure that educational output and employer needs match
  • Advising physicians and administrators in ambulatory health care settings on the role of the medical assistant and the importance of graduation from an accredited program

Medicine, as well, is looking ahead, as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Flexner Report, which lay the groundwork for the many advances in health care over the last century. On the New Horizons in Medical Education forum, hosted by the American Medical Association (AMA), nearly 500 individuals have registered to discuss today's challenges and share ideas.


For example, a recent blog posting by Susan Skochelak, MD, MPH, Vice President, AMA Medical Education Group, describes the importance of the patient-physician bond, and the ways that new technologies (and even surgical gloves) can sometimes interfere with communication, compassion, and healing.


For more news and information on future trends in health care, check out the AMA's free Health Care Careers e-Letter, published monthly and offering news and updates on issues related to health care careers and education.


To subscribe, send an e-mail to Fred Lenhoff or call (312) 464-4635.


Are you a Facebook fan? Then check out the Health Professions Network (HPN) page for the latest news, information, and updates on allied health and health care career trends.


Accreditation Actions


The following programs received CAAHEP accreditation at the November 17, 2010, Board of Directors Meeting:



Greater Los Angeles Cytotechnology Consortium-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (Certificate)

Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA (Certificate, Baccalaureate)




Harris County Hospital District, Houston, TX (General) (Certificate)




Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville, AR (Certificate)

Austin Community College, Austin, TX (Certificate, Associate)

Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, CA (Certificate)

City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (Certificate, Associate)

Dutchess Community College, Wappingers Falls, NY (Associate)

Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY (Associate, Baccalaureate)

Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, GA (Diploma, Associate)

Health One EMS/Arapahoe Community College, Englewood, CO (Certificate, Associate)

Loudoun County Department of Fire-Rescue, Leesburg, VA (Certificate)

NHTI-Concord's Community College, Concord, NH (Associate)

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (Certificate)

Victor Valley College, Victorville, CA (Certificate, Associate)



Cincinnati State Technical Community College, Cincinnati, OH (Certificate)




Pitt Community College, Greenville, NC (Certificate)

Pitt Community College, Greenville, NC (Associate)

Mercy College of Northwest Ohio, Toledo, OH (Certificate)

Miller-Motte Technical College, Clarksville, TN (Certificate)

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY (Certificate)




College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, ID (Associate)




American Career College - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (Associate)

American Career College - Anaheim, Anaheim, CA (Diploma, Associate)

Baptist Health System School of Health Professions, San Antonio, TX (Diploma)

Central Florida Institute, Inc., Palm Harbor, FL (Associate)

Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC (Associate)

Choffin Career and Technical Center, Youngstown, OH (Certificate)

Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, FL (Certificate)

Eastern Idaho Technical College/ School of Technology, Idaho Falls, ID (Associate)

Elgin Community College, Elgin, IL (Certificate)

Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville, NC (Diploma, Associate)

Glendale Career College, Glendale, CA (Diploma)

Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, NC (Diploma)

Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology, Naples, FL (Certificate)

Miller-Motte Technical College- Clarksville, Clarksville, TN (Associate)

Mt Diablo Adult Education, Concord, CA (Certificate)

Presentation College, Aberdeen, SD (Certificate, Associate)

Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester, MN (Associate)

Sarasota County Technical Institute, Sarasota, FL (Certificate)

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Pineville, KY (Diploma)

St Catharine College, St Catharine, KY (Associate)

The Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences, Reading, PA (Diploma)

Tri-County Technical College, Pendleton, SC (Diploma)

Virginia College-Pensacola, Pensacola, FL (Associate)

Western Technical College, La Crosse, WI (Diploma)



Carver Career and Technical Education Center, Charleston, WV (Certificate)

Eastwick College, Ramsey, NJ (Associate)

Hazard Community and Technical College, Hazard, KY (Associate)

Rasmussen College-Moorhead, Moorhead, MN (Associate)

Virginia College-Montgomery, Montgomery, AL (Associate)