The Central Lakes College Medical Assistant program at the Staples campus has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). A review board and CAAHEP’s board of directors announced that the CLC program is in “substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards.” The initial accreditation status is in effect for five years. The CLC program is also accredited through the American Medical Technologists. The latest endorsement comes from the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. National accreditation is considered the “gold standard” for medical assisting, said Dawn Michel (pictured), instructor-director of CLC’s 44-credit diploma program. Institutional accreditation helps to assure potential students that a school is a sound institution and has met certain minimum standards in terms of administration, resources, faculty and facilities. The 16-person CLC Medical Assistant Advisory Board assisted the evaluation, providing significant support and evidence to the two-person CAAHEP team that visited the Staples campus prior to making recommendations. Members of the 2011-12 Advisory Board are Pamela Beebe and Roger Jahn, Ne la Shing Clinic, Onamia; Becky Bennett and Deanna Kohout, Lakewood Health System, Staples; Deb Bergsnev, Longville Clinic; Nicole Finnegan, Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin; Barb Goochey, Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Brainerd Clinic; Debra Kearns, Central Lakes Medical Clinic, Crosby; Ida Lombard and Machel Marshall, Motley; Jackie Och, Family Medical Center, Little Falls; Beth Sabas, Essentia – Pine River Clinic; Sharon Welle, Little Falls; and Connie Vieths, Michel, and Jeff Wig from CLC.