Back to articles

Medical Assistant & Health Scholar Programs at Adventist Health Portland To Launch Fall 2023


Adventist Health Portland & COPE Health Solutions debut Oregon’s first Health Scholar and Medical Assistant Programs

Adventist Health Portland and COPE Health Solutions are launching two programs to support Portland community members for careers in health care. The Medical Assistant (MA) Program and Health Scholar program, offered in partnership with COPE Health Solutions, are set to launch in fall 2023 with inaugural cohorts of applicants beginning in the programs as early as January 2024.

Community-Needs Focused

There is a nationwide shortage for many medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, medical assistants and laboratory technicians. According to Oregon’s Health Care Workforce Needs Assessment 2023, Oregon is focusing on improving the diversity of health care workers and improving the supply and distribution of the health care workforce. To address these challenges, Adventist Health is expanding their partnership with national tech-enabled services and workforce development leader COPE Health Solutions, based in Los Angeles and New York, to build and operate a series of specialized educational programs that offer employment opportunities to community members throughout the Portland and surrounding communities.

Health Scholar Program

“We are honored to serve and support the health needs of a strong and diverse community,” says Kyle King, president of Adventist Health Portland. “Our team is committed to developing health care professionals to carry this mission forward. These two new programs give us more tools to grow the health care workforce of the future.”

The Health Scholar program gives Portland community members a pathway to careers in health care. Designed for high school graduates, college students and career changers, participants combine online classwork with a minimum of 280 hours of in-person experience at Adventist Health Portland Hospital, delivering valuable support to patients and clinicians. Health Scholar is a great opportunity for individuals to learn more about the various roles in healthcare while obtaining hands on patient experience. There are also professional development courses to help them achieve there next steps whether that is college, professional program like medical or nursing school, or direct to full time healthcare job

The Health Scholar program provides virtual courses and hands-on clinical experience in health care facilities for aspiring health professionals. After successful completion of training, Health Scholars support a variety of care teams, including helping patients eat, walk, bathe and check vitals. To explore a variety of health care careers, the Scholars may also serve rotations in non-clinical departments. The Health Scholar program began in 2000 and has graduated more than 55,000 Health Scholars.

Medical Assistant Program

The seven-month program consists of virtual self-study coursework and lectures as well as in-person training in Adventist Health Portland medical offices. All students will be given priority consideration for full-time roles upon successful program completion and scholarships for program tuition may be available to qualified students.

Students who complete the Medical Assistant Program will be well-positioned to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam and they will enter a job market in which medical assistants are in high demand. Jobs for medical assistants are expected to increase 19% by 2029, compared to 4% for all occupations over the same period.

“We have had great success with our long partnership with Adventist Health and are excited about the ability to further increase opportunities within the Portland community, while also developing the next generation of health care workers. These innovative solutions have aided other Adventist Health markets in creating sustainable pipelines of qualified individuals to support the overall healthcare workforce to provide the highest quality of care”, says Elizabeth DuBois, DNP, FNP-BC, COPE Health Solutions’ Principal and Chief Operating Officer. “Through this program, Adventist Health is on the leading edge in preparing its current and future workforce to continue delivering excellent care and enhancing the well-being of their communities.”

Applications for the program are now open at The first cohort of students are expected to begin their studies in January 2024. Individuals who may be interested in the program may submit their information on the program interest form to receive updates.

About Adventist Health

Adventist Health Portland, an OHSU Health partner, includes a 302-bed medical center with emergency room, dozens of medical and urgent care clinics, and home care and hospice services. Our many physicians and employees are dedicated to caring for you as a whole person — mind, body and spirit — not just as an injury or illness. We are also part of Adventist Health, a health care network of more than 25 hospitals and countless clinics and services spanning California, Oregon and Hawaii.

About COPE Health Solutions

COPE Health Solutions is a national tech-enabled services firm, with a population health management analytics software solution Analytics for Risk Contracting (ARC), collaboratively implementing proven products with payer and provider clients to power success in risk arrangements and development of the future workforce. Our multidisciplinary team provides payers and providers with the experience, capabilities and tools needed to plan for, design, implement and support strategy development and execution. We are driven by our passion to help transform health care delivery, align financial incentives to support population health management and build the workforce needed for value-based care.