First Graduate of Medical Assistant Program Facilitated at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers 

 Honesdale, PA (October 28, 2022) — “Be prepared to love your job and your community” was the advice given to Julia Pizzo, an employee of the Hamlin Family Health Center, and her 74 fellow graduates of the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA)  from alumnus Jennica Martin, CMA, during NIMAA’s virtual commencement ceremony held October 26th.

Pizzo, who started working at the Health Center as a medical secretary, wasn’t the only one celebrating in Hamlin. She was surrounded by supportive family, coworkers and members of the Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) administrative team. They all gathered to view the live-streamed graduation ceremony in the Hamlin Center’s Conference Room.  Pizzo was WMCHC’s first NIMAA student to complete the program since announcing it had become an externship partner in October, 2021.

Pizzo, who humbly bowed her head as her name and photo appeared on the conference room screen, thanked all in the room for “the opportunity” with special gratitude to preceptor Maria Emiliani, CMA, and Site Facilitator Kristen Knash, LPN, both also WMCHC staff members.

Individuals seeking to become a medical assistant with the program complete a combination of hands-on in-clinic experience at one of our community health center locations and online sessions conducted by NIMAA.  The program is flexible, affordable and designed to be completed after only eight months’ time.

WMCHC’s current MA class, comprised of four students, is expected to graduate in April of 2023. All are WMCHC employees. However, WMCHC Human Resources Director Miranda Green says the program is open to anyone interested in training to become a medical assistant. “WMCHC’s relationship with NIMAA is two-fold,” she stated. “It serves as a career ladder for current employees but is also an investment in our community by offering an educational opportunity ideal for those challenged with juggling work and family commitments.” WMCHC is providing employees and accepted externship participants with an opportunity to further their education while remaining employed, receiving compensation and benefits, accompanied by tuition assistance for those that qualify.

The application deadline for NIMAA’s Fall Cohort with classes starting in March 2023 is November 14th, 2022.  Visit for more information on how to apply.

Photo: Shown  left to right, Ebi Rowshanshad, DO, family practitioner, Hamlin Family Health Center; Kristen Knash, LPN, Highland Physicians Family Health Center and WMCHC site facilitator for NIMAA; Julia Pizzo, WMCHC’s first NIMAA graduate; Victoria Purdy, Human Resources, WMCHC and program coordinator for NIMAA; Maria Emiliani, CMA, Hamlin Family Health Center and preceptor for NIMAA.