Each year, the Spotlight section of CMA Today features several medical assistants with unique stories and monumental contributions to health care. Their passion for their work and their commitment to patients exude the AAMA’s values and the best of the medical assisting profession.
For this reason, the AAMA would like to feature the 2022 Spotlight medical assistants again with some highlights from their articles.
Feeling inspired? If you want a chance to share your story with CMA Today by being interviewed for a Spotlight article, fill out the submission form on the AAMA website.
January/February: Jaime Armstrong, CMA (AAMA)
With a longstanding interest in the urgent care setting, Armstrong became a medical assistant and has not looked back. “I never know what’s coming through the door, which is one of the appeals,” says Armstrong. “But I always know I’m there to help patients no matter their circumstance.”
Pioneering a care package program in her clinic, she helps hundreds of patients around Portland facing housing insecurity each year.
Armstrong’s efforts to provide patients with essential materials show how her care goes beyond a simple job description. Her empathy and innovation are a refreshing reminder of medical assistants’ critical liaison roles in their communities.
Read more in “Granting Wishes: Medical Assistant Receives Grant for Creating Care Packages.”
March/April: Kathleen Dalton, CMA (AAMA)
Dalton has held many roles in her 25-year medical assisting career, but being a practice transformation facilitator is her favorite. She helps practices adjust their workflows and organization, setting them up for success and aiding patient safety protocols.
Dalton’s medical assisting path gives hope to those with a passion for the field as well as a desire to work in a corporate setting. “Looking outside of the box that we put ourselves in as medical assistants is important,” asserts Dalton. “Medicine is changing, and there are different roles that are being created and developed within larger health care systems and sometimes smaller practices too.”
By sharing her story, she’s advocated for a niche that many medical assistants may not be aware of and has shown a path toward leadership.
Read more in “Welcome Change: CMA (AAMA) Embraces New Role to Aid PCMH Transformations.”
May/June: Kimberly Maness, CMA (AAMA)
With over 30 years of experience in the medical assisting profession, Maness jumped at the chance to help her employer create a program to promote Medicare Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs). Her robust clinical experience—which includes more than 30 years in multiple specialties—aids her in leading the program and explaining to patients why AWVs are critical.
Her success in establishing this kind of program demonstrates how medical assistants’ broad expertise can be used in administrative and leadership roles. “My hope is that all practices and facilities will be enlisting well-experienced CMAs (AAMA) to facilitate these dedicated [Medicare AWV] programs,” Maness explains.
Read more in “Well Wishes: CMA (AAMA) Improves Patient Compliance for Medicare Annual Wellness Visits.”
July/August: Christine Dzoga, CMA (AAMA)
After working as a medical assistant and part-time educator for more than a decade, Dzoga became the full-time health science director at Malcolm X College, where she has revamped the curriculum and expanded program access throughout Chicago. Her primary focuses are diversifying the medical assisting field, connecting students to future employers, and ensuring that students learn how to communicate with patients.
Dzoga’s story stresses the importance of serving a community through your work: “We believe medical assistants can reach patients who wouldn’t want to seek health care for various reasons. It makes a big impact when someone can go into a [physician’s practice] and see themselves there, specifically [via] a medical assistant who can relate to them because patients spend the most face-to-face time with medical assistants.”
Her dedication to helping her students find employment and developing medical assisting programs in underserved parts of Chicago shows her desire to apply her expertise to a community vision.
Read more in “Connect the Dots: CMA (AAMA) Creates Bridges Between Students and Future Employers.”
September/October: Joseph Holub, CMA (AAMA)
In his nine-year medical assisting career, Holub has seen more than 200,000 patients, including 9/11 heroes, celebrities, and government officials. Through various roles, he has learned that performing clinical and administrative tasks make medical assistants more well-rounded and caring professionals. “There are a lot of things we can fix [in health care],” he says, “and we need clinicians who are well-rounded like myself in administrative settings to further develop and work with the people who don’t have that background or may not understand that side of [health care].”
Holub’s winding medical assisting journey is captivating and inspiring. He demonstrates the many possibilities in the medical assisting field and the value of being versatile in health care.
Read more in “Star-Studded Care: CMA (AAMA) Devoted to Patient Care in All Facets of Medical Assisting.”
November/December: Yota Vang, CMA (AAMA)
In her five-year medical assisting career, Vang has worked diligently to ease and educate patients undergoing dermatology procedures such as Mohs surgery. Her expertise and compassion highlight how a medical assistant’s attitude can vastly impact difficult moments.
“It doesn’t matter whether I’m assisting with a procedure, learning a new skill, talking with a patient, or training a new employee,” notes Vang. “When you love your work and love what you’re doing, you’re going to be great at it and continue to thrive in it.”
Vang’s story shows how even a few words can foster deep connections with patients when they’re in need of comfort and information. Her thoughtfully provided care demonstrates how passion and commitment to the profession go a long way.
Read more in “A Touch of Kindness: CMA (AAMA) Connects with Patients to Provide Calming and Informed Care.”