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Thursday, June 13, 2024

AGH elevates local care by investing in employee training

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Artesia General Hospital (AGH) is on a mission to elevate the standard of care received regionally by providing accessible training for employees interested in furthering their education. 

On Aug. 31, AGH held a ceremony celebrating the first five graduates of a nationally accredited Certified Medical Assistant Program that was brought to the area last year, sponsored by an unnamed donor. AGH directed the funds toward this inaugural class, made up of AGH employees who were interested in furthering their education.

Using a hybrid model, meaning a blend of online and in-person learning, all five sponsored students completed the coursework, passed the 150-question exam, and graduated the program. 

One student reported to Kim Salgado, executive director of the AGH Foundation, “knowing someone invested in me that didn’t even know me” motivated her to finish the coursework and positively impacted her life. Another student shared the program was a means of moving on and “doing things on my own.”

The success of the first graduating class inspired AGH to open up the program to non-employees who are interested in pursuing careers in the medical field but may not have prior experience. On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the second cohort began its coursework. This class consists of seven students from the Artesia and Carlsbad areas, one of whom has no medical experience whatsoever.

The program will now follow the school calendar, meaning those who make it to the finish line will complete the course and graduate in May.

Salgado shared this program is only the beginning, as the hospital is already seeking other programs to elevate the training received by their employees. As these programs grow, the courses will become accessible to community members in order to provide career pathways to those who are not interested in or are unable to attend traditional colleges. According to Salgado, the hospital is not only interested in educating employees to improve the patient experience, but also in providing opportunities to grow to the community at large.

Although many future students will have to shoulder the $1,380 cost of enrollment themselves, this should not deter any community members determined to learn and grow. Those interested in pursuing or supporting these educational programs should reach out to Artesia General Hospital or the Artesia General Hospital Foundation for more information at 575-748-3333 or foundation@artesiageneral.com.

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