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College recognizes 37 graduates of health care certificate programs

DATE: 06-12-2013

During ceremonies on the Auburn and Fulton campuses last week, Cayuga Community College recognized 37 students for their completion of health care career certificate programs.

“I am honored and proud to be celebrating your successful completion of these rigorous, accelerated programs,” said Carla DeShaw, dean of community education and workforce development. “Your commitment to earn this first credential will open many doors for you in the future.”

DeShaw told students that in the past, people spoke about “climbing the corporate or career ladder,” but that today the more appropriate image is of scaffolding—where people can pick up new credentials and move in a new direction. She said this is particularly true in health care—a field where someone who pursues medical assisting certification then could decide to become a registered nurse, an EKG technician, or a medical coder.

This is the first graduating class of the 60-hour dental assisting program and the 50-hour EKG technician program, both of which prepare students to sit for the national certification exams. These students look to have promising career opportunities, as the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the number of jobs for dental assistants and cardiovascular and vascular technologists will grow 31 and 29 percent, respectively, through 2020, much faster than the average job growth.

Similarly, the medical assistant and medical coder programs, which have been well-received by students since they were first offered at Cayuga in 2011, look to have bright futures, as jobs in those fields look to grow at 31 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

These credit-free professional certificate programs often serve as the first credential to open a wide array of career possibilities and enrollment into academic degree programs. For example, Cayuga is working on streamlining the transition from these non-credit programs into its new health sciences associate’s degree program as well as into the health information technology associate’s program, offered in collaboration with Onondaga Community College.

“At Cayuga, we create career pathways that enable students to take the next step in their professional development,” DeShaw said. “Our hope is to help students who complete the credit-free health care certificate programs earn prior learning credit and receive advanced placement in the associate’s degree programs.”

The College conferred certificates to the following students:

Dental Assistant: The program requires 60 hours of training and prepares students for entry-level positions in a dental office, including oral anatomy, tooth structure, patient positioning, equipment, sterilization, legal aspects of dentistry, and office administration.


Charles Aiken of Auburn

Catherine Beach of Oswego

Stephanie Cary of Fulton

Erica DeVoll of Ovid

Serena Draper of Fulton

Kayla Gregory of Auburn

Ashley Haumann of Syracuse

Jacklyn Noel of Elbridge

Sarah Smith of Waterloo

Patsy Spears of Mexico


EKG Technician: The program requires 50 hours of training and prepares students to use an EKG machine and gain familiarity with physiology of the heart, medical disease processes, medical terminology, ethics, and legal aspects of medicine.


Melissa Bushey of Locke

Polly Davies of Port Byron

Alexandra Dennison of Cato

Susan Elwyn of King Ferry

Cynthia Gersch-Cianfarno of Oswego

Sharon Krause of Cleveland (N.Y.)

Dennis Lassen Jr. of Hannibal

Sharon Nemier of Weedsport

Gale Riddell of Phoenix

Carmella Squadrito of Liverpool


Medical Assistant: The program requires completion of 252 hours of training and 80 hours of externship, the study of the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology as well as practical applications of mathematics and microbiology. The program also covers everything from phlebotomy and medical terminology to insurance and ethics.


Allison Archer of Seneca Falls

Ashley Cook of Liverpool

Bessie Loomis of Fulton

Andrea Losurdo of Oswego

Julie Robbins of Jordan

Karrie Waffle of Phoenix


Medical Coder: The program requires 180-hours of career training. Students learn the types of insurance coverage in a health facility, the various ways of receiving payment, common medical codes, and HIPAA privacy regulations, among other topics.


Barbara Beeman of Fulton

Mary Blum of Skaneateles

Michele Braley of Sandy Creek

Dotty Chesnut of Mexico

Christopher Cornall of Auburn

Suzanne Davis of Fulton

Noah Donch of Auburn

Priscilla Gilbert of Mexico

Arbutus Keim of Auburn

Lisa Russell of Waterloo

Anita Vibbert of Oswego

For more information about the health care certificate programs, visit: