Graduation for the New Orleans Works Medical Assistant Training Program

December 19, 2013

In Partnership with Ochsner Health System, Delgado Community College, Job1/City of New Orleans, Providence Community Housing, and Greater New Orleans Foundation

New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Works (NOW), a workforce initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is proud to announce the graduation and employment of 47 medical assistants who recently completed a four- month training program provided by Ochsner Health System and Delgado Community College.

“The uniqueness of this collaboration is that all participants were guaranteed a job after graduation as medical assistants in the healthcare field,” said Bonita Robertson, NOW’s site director, who served as coordinator between the job provider – Ochsner – and the job trainer – Delgado. “This is more than a job. It’s the start of a career.”

Medical Assistants are trained to provide care alongside licensed healthcare providers, perform clerical work, transfer and discharge medical orders, and respond to patient and visitor inquiries. Ochsner Leadership Institute provided the soft skills and non-clinical training while Delgado educated the students on technical skills and procedures such as blood pressure examinations.

“We welcome these well-trained medical assistants into our system,” said Missy Hopson-Sparks, director of learning and development for Ochsner Health System. “Through our partnership with Delgado and the NOW Collaborative, we know they have received the necessary trainings to perform well in the workplace.”

Ochsner and Delgado worked closely with JOB1 and Providence Community Housing to identify program participants. Over 500 individuals applied for the 50 available training slots.

One third of the program’s participants had never worked in healthcare. As one graduate stated, “My ultimate goal is to become a registered nurse and the NOW program provided me with the necessary foundation for future positions.” Above all, participants have acquired the technical and soft skills needed for today’s marketplace which will give them the opportunity to move up the career ladder.

About New Orleans Works (NOW)
NOW is a private-public collaborative started in 2011 when the National Fund for Workforce Solutions awarded a grant to the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Matching funds are leveraged from local partners including the City of New Orleans, Capital One Bank, BioDistrict New Orleans, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Baptist Community Ministries, Urban Strategies, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. National philanthropic partners include the Ford, Kellogg, JPMorgan Chase, and Surdna foundations.

About the Greater New Orleans Foundation
The Greater New Orleans Foundation is one of the oldest and largest philanthropic organizations in the region. Its mission is to create a thriving community for all. Every day, GNOF joins other foundations, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and government officials to address the needs of the community and build consensus for solutions. Together with a family of donors, the Foundation has invested over $100 million in the region since it opened its doors over 30 years ago to respond to community needs. For more information, visit

CUTLINE: New Orleans, LA –New Orleans Works (NOW), an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, announces the graduation of 47 medical assistants who completed a medical assistant training program through a first-ever partnership between Ochsner Health System and Delgado Community College. In addition to all the graduates receiving jobs upon graduation, the workforce initiative covered tuition, transit, and child care costs. Additional partners in the initiative include Job1/City of New Orleans and Providence Community Housing. Photo by Nick Peddle.