Celebrating Educational Milestones in Apprenticeship at Women & Infants Hospital

It is often said that to implement and operate a great Apprenticeship Program, it takes a village.  That statement was evident on Thursday, June 21st when Women & Infants Hospital and SEIU 1199NE celebrated educational milestones through Registered Apprenticeship in Medical Coding and for the Medical Assistants in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Center (OGCC ).  Training completed by Medical Interpreters was also celebrated.

These Apprenticeship programs represent ongoing collaboration between Care New England, Women & Infants Hospital and SEIU 1199NE.  The Healthcare Career Advancement Program provided technical support.  Rhode Island College, Libman Education and UMass Medical School provided training.  Real Jobs RI assisted with funding. Apprenticeship Rhode Island was proud to work alongside such excellent partners.

In-Patient Medical Coder Apprentices at Women & Infants have been enrolled in Certified Coder Specialist (CCS) training to prepare them for the rigorous five-hour CCS certification exam. Medical Coders will complete the coursework in August, prepared to take the CCS exam in fall.  While enrolled, they are also learning on the job.   Through the skilled mentorship of Donna Sprague, Kathy Rickard and Leslie Lamar, apprentices will be trained in hands-on learning while they earn paycheck.   Jen Couri, Director of Coding at Care New England, noted the Registered Apprenticeship program has brought the team closer together. Importantly, the bill-hold is nearly ten times lower than before the apprenticeship was established.

In the Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Center (OGCC), current CNAs were selected as Apprentices, now upskilling to become Medical Assistants.  All eight Apprentices completed a 147-hour certification program through Rhode Island College.  This was a huge achievement for apprentices working full-time, plus taking classes with weekly reading and tests, along with a research project presentation.  Supervisor Melissa Maher could not be more proud of their dedication and persistence.  She was also moved by the way they worked as a team to help each other succeed.  Pascal Thomas, their beloved RIC instructor, will return for several more sessions during their on the job learning.  Medical Assistants are expected to complete their apprenticeship program this fall.