CHI Saint Joseph Health and Mercy College of Health Sciences have partnered to fill the critical need for certified medical assistants (MA) in the Lexington, Kentucky region. Through a joint medical assistant certification program, participants will earn a competitive wage working at the hospital while also completing online college courses through MercyPLUS to become a certified medical assistant in just one year. Upon completion of the program, students will immediately transition to a full-time MA position at CHI Saint Joseph Health.

Medical assistants are in high demand across the nation with a 20-30% projected annual job growth over the next 10 years. This is particularly the case in Lexington, which is what prompted leadership at CHI Saint Joseph Health to pursue this novel approach to recruiting, training, hiring and retaining qualified staff members for this position. The program’s primary goals are to remove barriers to higher-level education and fill the immediate needs of healthcare facilities with well-trained employees while they are in the program and post-graduation.

Certified medical assistants provide critical physician support services to ensure healthcare facilities run smoothly. They are often responsible for administrative, as well as clinical, tasks such as maintaining patient records, preparing patients and rooms for examination, assisting physicians with exams, and performing other critical tasks. 

“In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that we needed a new strategy for staffing and retaining certified medical assistants," said Carmel Jones, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group COO. "The novel approach provided through this partnership with Mercy College of Health Sciences gives our institution a leg up in a highly competitive job market."

To learn more about Medical Assisting partnership opportunities, visit

About the Medical Assistant (MA) Partnership Program
The medical assistant (MA) program enables students to earn certification through 100% online instruction through MercyPLUS, as well as two, six-hour skills labs and 160 hours of clinical practicum experience at CHI Saint Joseph Health. Participants receive free tuition in exchange for a work commitment to CHI St. Joseph Health.

About Mercy College PLUS
Since 1899, Mercy College of Health Sciences has been empowering students with the training, knowledge, and education necessary to become successful healthcare professionals. Mercy College PLUS continues this legacy by expanding online education designed in collaboration with industry experts. With multiple start dates per year, affordable tuition, and generous transfer credit acceptance, students can advance their healthcare careers in a manner and time that is convenient for them.