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Pathway Program helps Pardee recruit medical assistants

Teri Jefferson Teri Jefferson

When she was working as a customer service representative at Pardee UNC Health Care, Teri Jefferson admired the people working on the front lines as certified medical assistants and thought she would like to become one, too. The timing was not right — until she heard about Pardee’s new Pathway Program.

"When this opportunity came around, I knew I couldn't let this pass,” Jefferson said.

Pardee launched the program in 2022 in partnership with Blue Ridge Community College to give Pardee team members like Jefferson and others the opportunity to become a certified medical assistant at Pardee.

“This customized training program is a model example of Pardee’s partnership with Blue Ridge and their unwavering commitment to developing workforce solutions that benefit our community now and in the future,” said John Bryant, the former Henderson County schools superintendent who became Pardee's vice president of workforce development and community affairs last year. During the eight-week program, participants spend time in the classroom and in the hospital.

“The program was very convenient and I love the idea of being able to work in the clinic as well as being in the classroom,” Jefferson said. After completing the course, trainees are eligible to earn the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant credential, which immediately leads to a dynamic role with Pardee.

“Our Learn, Earn and Grow initiatives represent investments in our people, our purpose, and the communities under our care,” Bryant said.

Understanding that a commitment like this can be a big decision, Pardee and Blue Ridge have made the burden as light as possible for program participants. Training and program costs are covered for trainees who complete the program and commit to two-years of work at Pardee.

The program is designed to encourage and support individuals who’ve been looking to get their foot in the door in the medical field by showing them they have what it takes to achieve their goals. “I feel this process has set me up for continued success and even gave me the feeling of wanting to accomplish future goals of maybe nursing school,” Jefferson said.

The program plans to expand in the future to offer other pathways. To learn more visit