Shawnee Community College commemorated the start of its new medical assistant program with a ribbon cutting at the college’s Anna Extension Center on Thursday, Aug. 12. Shawnee Community College president Dr. Tim Taylor did the honors, accompanied by students and partners in the program. Photo by Benjamin Marxer.

Semester begins for new medical assistant program at Shawnee’s Anna Extension Center

This fall, the Shawnee Community College Anna Extension Center is beginning a new program for students interested in a career in the medical field. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the start of the medical assistant program at the Anna Extension Center on Thursday, Aug. 12. 

Teaming with regional health care provider Rural Health Inc., SCC’s medical assistant program is a one-year certificate program designed to prepare students for jobs in administrative and clinical services in a medical office setting. 

Exclusive to the Anna Extension Center, the program is designed to be ideal for students wishing to expand their education during their free time. 

“All these classes are either online or in the evening,” said Lindsay Johnson, director of the Anna Extension Center, “so it works well with someone who has kids during the day, or has to work during the day.”

“With this program, students can do two semesters and then get right to work in a new field,” Johnson added. 

Profession-specific duties of a medical assistant may include updating medical records, compiling insurance information and billing. 

Also, while under supervision of a licensed professional such as a physician, medical assistants also provide direct, hands-on patient care procedures, including monitoring vital signs, preparing patients and performing routine laboratory procedures. 

The program also features hands-on training through internship hours with Rural Health. 

This internship period will not only provide real-world experience, but also represents a job opportunity after completing the program. 

“With the internship hours, students can work at Rural Health, get experience at Rural Health, and possibly continue their career at Rural Health after finishing the program,” said Mandy Butler, director of nursing at Rural Health. 

Rural Health also donated five treatment beds to the Anna Extension Center to assist with classroom training. 

In addition, with clinics in Dongola, Metropolis, Vienna, Goreville and its main site in Anna, Rural Health helps students complete internship hours while staying close to home. 

The medical assistant program can also act as a stepping stone for students wishing more advanced training in the medical field. 

“There are a lot of job opportunities. A lot of growth in the medical field,” said Butler. 

“You can gain experience being a medical assistant and then go back to school and do an LPN or RN program. So it’s a good starting place for people who want to work in the healthcare field.”

For more information about the program, call the Anna Extension Center at 618-833-3399. 



The Gazette-Democrat

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