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College medical assistant students volunteer for Feed My Starving Children

About 15 medical assistant students from Anoka Technical College will volunteer their time Friday to help package specially formulated meals for malnourished children in underdeveloped countries.

The volunteer effort is an opportunity for students to give back to the community and to highlight Medical Assistants Week, which begins Oct. 21, said Lisa Sailor, program director and an instructor in the program.

Terrianne Seehafer, a second-year student in the medical assistant program, proposed the idea as part of a class project, and many of her classmates eagerly embraced it. “They all jumped in and signed up right away, really liking the idea,” Seehafer said. The students will be packaging the meals at the Feed My Starving Children branch in Coon Rapids. The agency’s other Minnesota packaging centers are in Eagan and Chanhassen.

Seehafer said helping to feed hungry children is especially meaningful for her because she participated in a medical mission in Haiti after the devastating earthquake there in 2010. “I saw a where the food goes, what the conditions are and what the needs are,” said Seehafer, who added: “I’m just naturally a caretaker. That’s just what I do. I take care of people. It makes me happy.”

Students in the Medical Assistant program earn a two-year associate in applied science degree that prepares them to work under the supervision of physicians, to provide medical office administrative services and perform clinical duties including patient intake and care, routine diagnostic and recording procedures, pre-examination and examination assistance, and the administrative of medications, laboratory work and first aid.

Medical assistant students study clinical procedures such as sterile technique, suture removal and physician procedures. Laboratory courses prepare students to run diagnostic tests such as rapid strep throat, white blood counts and cholesterol levels. The administrative track prepares students to use medical computer scheduling software and bill insurances using the correct diagnostic codes. The program concludes with a non-salaried, eight-week externship supervised by instructors and clinical staff. Students typically are placed in a clinic for practical on-the-job experience.

Most of our students get hired right out of their externship,” Sailor said. For more information about the program, contact Lisa Sailor at  



OTA student for Medical Assistant Week

Medical assistant students from Anoka Technical College volunteer their time Friday, Oct. 21 to help package specially formulated meals for malnourished children in underdeveloped countries: (from left, back row) Allison Johnson, Nicole Newcomb, Melissa Gamache, Sheila Nichols, Erin Captain, Ashley Mortensen, Stacey Anderson (from left front row) Katelyn Frey, Patty Rolek, Choua Vue, Terrianne Seehafer, Jackie Turpen, Jennifer Whalen.

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