The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement Announces New Higher Education Partnerships to Expand Health Career Pathways for Medical Assistants in Colorado

The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) is pleased to announce new partnerships with Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College that will allow graduates from NIMAA’s medical assisting program to transfer seamlessly into an associate-level degree program in medical assisting at the school of their choosing.

These articulation agreements, in addition to a 2021 agreement with the Community College of Denver (CCD), allow students who graduate from NIMAA’s eight-month medical assistant program to earn credits equivalent to the schools’ medical assisting certificate programs. Courses completed through NIMAA will count toward an associate-level degree in medical assisting, providing a clear pathway for continuing higher education and advancing careers in health care.

The collaboration is also made possible thanks to the Grow Our Own: Partnership for Equity in Health Careers. This project, led by Colorado Community Health Network and funded through the SyncUp Colorado Challenge, is a pilot solution aimed at building awareness among high school students and young adults of meaningful and financially sustainable health care career pathways that leverage Medical Assisting as a first step. Grow Our Own leverages partner expertise through NIMAA and community connections with local high schools, community colleges, and related health education connections to build a replicable framework for intentional and sustainable community-to-career connections for young people.

“Like much of the nation, Western Colorado is in dire need of qualified healthcare professionals. This partnership makes it easier for NIMAA graduates looking to continue their education in the healthcare field to diversify their skillset and earn more financially. We’re proud of creative partnerships like this that help meet the workforce needs of our region and support our community in a truly positive way,” said Vice President of Community College Affairs at Colorado Mesa University Brigitte Sundermann.

“Medical Assistants are vital to the delivery of high-quality primary care and an important entry point to health care careers. Though it is a rewarding career option, it is also important that staff have access to avenues by which to continue to grow and develop as professionals. These unique partnerships help reduce barriers to that growth while keeping staff in their communities. We hope to see employers leverage these partnerships as a tool for staff development and retention.” said Senior Manager Health Center Operations at Colorado Community Health Network Sarah Macrander.

“Educational equity and developing opportunities for students to further their education towards a health career are core to NIMAA’s mission,” says NIMAA Chief Executive Officer Elena Thomas Faulkner. “Partnerships like these are key to building better outcomes for employing high-quality Medical Assistants without an added financial burden on the student. We are excited for NIMAA graduates to take advantage of the opportunities now available through Colorado Mesa University/WCCC and Colorado Mountain College.”

NIMAA was founded by two leading Federally Qualified Health Centers, Salud Family Health and Community Health Center, Inc., to make post-secondary education and health careers accessible to students from medically underserved communities. NIMAA graduates are prepared to succeed in high-performing, team-based practices through a combination of flexible online learning and an extensive hands-on externship experience in NIMAA’s partner primary care clinics across the US.