Medical Assistant Certificate Program Receives National Accreditation

February 12, 2016

GCC delivers what local employers want.

Greenfield Community College’s Medical Assistant Certificate (MAC) Program has received initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

MAC Program Coordinator Claire Tyminski M.Ed., RN CCMA PBT explained what this means for GCC students and area employers, “This accreditation is the gold standard for Medical Assistants. Because the MAC program is accredited, our students are now allowed to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) national exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Most employers now require this certification.”

What are Medical Assistants and what do they do?

Many people know Medical Assistants as the person who takes them into an appointment with a physician, checks their vital signs, asks questions about symptoms, and updates their medical records. That’s just part of the job. Certified Medical Assistants are also trained in clinical skills including drawing blood for lab tests, giving inoculations, and assisting with EKGs, and administrative skills such as medical coding, billing, and maintaining medical records.

What is GCC’s MAC Program?

Since 2013, GCC has offered a one-year certificate program that provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of medical assisting, is open to anyone who submits completed health forms and CORI, and includes hands-on learning and a practicum in a local health care setting.

GCC responds to CAAHEP accreditation:

Tyminski said, “We are excited and very proud to have our MAC program accredited. The process to get the accreditation took almost two years and it will last for five years.”

Current MAC student Maria Christenson, 48, from Turners Falls said, “I attend the GCC Medical Assisting program and will be graduating this spring 2016. It has been great to be a part of this program and to hear about the process of accreditation. I know it has been a lot of hard work, commitment, and dedication for the program coordinator Claire Tyminski and her associates who have assisted her in this process. Bravo! Job well done!

Current MAC student Norma Kostek, 57, from Hadley said, “I am very excited that the GCC’s Medical Assisting program is now accredited. I will be able to take the AAMA – CMA certification exam when I graduate this June 2016.

GCC President Bob Pura said “We are proud the Commission found the same level of excellence in our MAC program that we have seen and appreciated over the years.  This accreditation opens even more doors for our students here in the community and that is why this is so important to us.”

Kathleen M. Vranos, GCC’s Dean of Business & Information Technology, Professional Studies, and Social Sciences, said, “The MAC faculty and program coordinator were very aware of how important accreditation is to our MAC students and to area employers. They have worked very hard since the launch of GCC’s MAC program to makes sure the program would meet the many strict standards of the accrediting body.”

GCC’s MAC program was established with funding from a U.S. Department of Labor Transformation Agenda grant.

For information about the MAC program, visit or contact Claire Tyminski at 413-775-1129 or

By Mary McClintock, ‘82

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