Mary Kay and Christie.tif

Mary Kay Gorny, left, poses with Christie Haun, the first student to complete the Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program.

Christie Haun of Lincoln City is the first apprentice to complete Samaritan Health Service’s Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program and pass the exam to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).

Haun’s clinic manager during her apprenticeship was Mary Kay Gorny, clinic operations manager at Samaritan Lincoln City Medical Center. Gorny had high praise for Samaritan’s first graduating apprentice.

“Christie’s interactions with patients have always been caring and compassionate which contributed to her being a perfect candidate for a CCMA Apprentice. Christie possesses a strong desire to learn, is committed to her role and strongly believes in the value of quality care for SHS patients,” Gorny said. “These traits, along with her integrity, were definitely contributing factors to her success in the MA Apprenticeship program. We are all very proud of her accomplishment.”

Haun has been with Samaritan since 2017, where she worked first as the orthopedics and podiatry receptionist at Samaritan Coastal Clinic in Lincoln City, and then as a referral specialist before beginning her apprenticeship in April 2019.

“When I was asked if I would like to do the apprenticeship program, I cried,” Haun said. “It has always been my dream to be in patient care. I married straight out of high school and started a family. Then I started doing foster care and adopted eight, bringing us to 11 children.”

Now a single mother with two kids still at home, “apprenticeship was perfect for me,” she said. It allowed her to learn valuable new skills while continuing to be employed.

Haun, who completed her apprenticeship at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, said her favorite part was going to each department and learning something new from each one of her coworkers.

“To already love Samaritan’s vision and to be a part of quality patient care is amazing, and to learn from your peers and providers was the best experience,” Christie said. “Every single person I worked with -- from providers and RNs, to LPNs and MAs – was so willing to teach me. I am very thankful for this opportunity and their willingness to teach me so many skills.”

Haun said the balance between work and school time was “awesome.” She would read, take quizzes and complete her assignments, then go to work to put into practice what she had just learned. “For example, taking a manual blood pressure. I could read about how to do it, but it doesn’t really make as much sense until you actually do it. Putting the two together solidifies it in my brain,” she explained.

The MA Apprenticeship Program kicked off at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in partnership with Southwestern Oregon Workforce Investment Board and Northwest Oregon Works, which is the designated local workforce board for Benton, Columbia, Clatsop, Lincoln and Tillamook Counties. Now, the goal is to expand the apprenticeship program throughout the Samaritan system, in a variety of clinical areas.

For questions about apprenticeship opportunities at Samaritan Health Services, reach out to Apprenticeship Programs Coordinator Claire Berlin at cberlin@samhealth.org.

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