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July 29, 2013

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Healthy Fun Fair Offers Valuable Screenings and a Big Dose of Fun

Healthy Fun Fair Offers Valuable Screenings and a Big Dose of Fun

 A big dose of fun was just what the doctor ordered for those who attended the 6th Annual Healthy Fun Fair at the Pikeville Campus on Thursday, July 25th.  The event, a collaboration between American National University and the Pikeville medical community, offered valuable health screenings, wellness information, and safety demonstrations, along with inflatables, games, food, and prizes--a combination that continues to draw large crowds to the event year after year.

Johnica Runyon visited the Healthy Fun Fair with her nine-year-old daughter, Faith, and her mother and mother-in-law.  It was their second time attending the event.  “We enjoyed it, and we really got a lot of information.  My mother-in-law doesn’t have insurance, so it really helped her out,” she said as they completed an asthma screening at the Asthma and Allergy Center booth.

Johnica also feels that it is important to teach her daughter about health.  “I liked Zumba!” Faith exclaimed after dancing in the Zumba demonstration down the hall.

Other screenings provided during the fair included diagnostics by students from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, sun damage screenings by the UK Extension office, cardio-pulmonary disease (COPD) and foot and ankle screenings by Pikeville Medical Center, hearing screenings by Beltone, and many more.

Dr. Todd Ratliff, with Big Sandy Dental Center, provided consultations to visitors about how smokeless tobacco, diabetes and other systemic diseases affect oral health.  “With diabetes, you’re more susceptible to periodontal disease, so it’s very important to see the dentist on a regular basis,” he explained, adding that many of the visitors that he spoke with plan to seek dental treatment as a result of their consultation.

Students from the American National University nursing, medical assisting, and phlebotomy programs also enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community while practicing their skills during the health fair.  Nursing students provided BMI and blood pressure screenings, while medical assisting and phlebotomy students drew blood for cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar testing in the Highlands Regional Medical Center booth.

Ashley Burgess, a graduate of the medical billing and coding program, who has returned to National to earn her medical office specialist and phlebotomy diplomas, volunteered for the third year at the fair.  This year, she stayed busy throughout the day drawing blood.   She was glad to use her skills to help others.  “I think that it helped them a lot, considering that some of them probably didn’t have the medical insurance that they need to have these tests done,” she said of those who took advantage of the screenings.

One of the most exciting events of the day was a simulated medical emergency which depicted a car crash involving a mobile methamphetamine lab. The simulation was conducted by the fire department, EMS, police department, and a medical evacuation helicopter from Wings Air Medical Services.   Students and staff from National also acted as victims and medical providers, and some were even taken away in handcuffs, as the perpetrators of the accident.

A new, and very popular, addition to the Healthy Fun Fair was an appearance by Minnie Mouse, who was portrayed by Letha Reed.   Letha, a brain cancer survivor, said that she decided that she wanted to “pay it forward” and be involved in the event, after she learned about it during a Kiwanis meeting.  “You know what, it’s all about the smiles,” she said.  “It’s been a great day.  I’m so grateful to be a part of this.”

Pikeville Medical Center
Highlands Regional Medical Center
Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
Coca Cola Bottling
Pearson Learning Solutions
Signature Health Care
Dr. Jody Johnson
Food City
Coal Run Fire Department

Pikeville Medical Center
Pikeville Regional Medical Center
Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
Signature Health Care
Pearson Learning Solutions
Big Sandy Dental
Coal Run Police
UK Extension
Saving Grace
Pike County Health Department
Premier Health Care
Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center
Tara Burke (Mary Kay Cosmetics)
Asthma and Allergy Center
Kentucky Highway Department
The Wellness Center
Kentucky Department of Vehicle Enforcement
U.S. Army
Spina Bifida Association
Coventry Cares
TransAmerica/Monumental Life Insurance
Kentucky Mountain Home Place
Light the Night Awareness Walk
Mountain View Healthcare
Kentucky State Police
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Emergency Management
Pike County Public Library
Sunrise Children’s Services
Wings Air Medical Services

 First responders are shown caring for victims of the simulated medical emergency during the Healthy Fun Fair.

 Phlebotomy student Ashley Burgess (far right) and director of health care education Wilma Storey (far left) conduct blood draws for cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar screenings in the Highlands Regional Medical Center booth. 

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On Thursday, June 20th CCS-Inc. and subsidiary Qualtrax Inc. were presented with American National University’s 2013 Distinguished Community Employer award for the companies’ exceptional support of career education. Ron Bradbury and Dr. Annette Chamberlin, representatives from the Roanoke Valley Campus, traveled to CCS and Qualtrax to present the companies with a plaque in their honor.

Annette, department chair of the master of business administration degree program, reflected on the selection process:  “When choosing a winner for our Distinguished Community Employer Award for 2013, we felt that the answer was obvious. Not only have CCS and Qualtrax hired several of our alumni, but the companies have given back to the university by participating in projects with our student body as well as allowing their employees to return as adjunct professors.” Ron, campus director for the Roanoke Valley Campus, added: “American National University has found our connection with CCS and Qualtrax to be extremely valuable for both our students and the community as a whole and look forward to maintaining that relationship for years to come.”

Dr. Annette Chamberlin and Mr. Ron Bradbury of the Roanoke Valley Campus present the Distinguished Community Employer Award to employees of CCS-Inc. and Qualtrax Inc.

Army Veteran Uses GI Bill to Pursue Educational Goals

Army Veteran Uses GI Bill to Pursue Educational Goals

Jonathan Arthur has his career plan.  Currently, he is enrolled to complete his associate’s degree in information system engineering at the Lynchburg Campus and plans to enter the bachelor degree program for cyber security.

He served in the Army from 2007 to 2010 when an injury ended his military career. His assignments took him from Fort Jackson, Fort Lee, and then to Fort Bragg where he was assigned to the 82nd CSSB, Combat Sustainment Brigade under the 82nd Airborne Division.  He had attended college in Texas while in the Army, and after his service continued his education at a community college.  He decided to transfer to National College and is using his Chapter 33, aka “post 9-11” benefits.

Jonathan said, “I am using my GI Bill and should be able to complete my bachelor’s degree.  I like the small classes and the ‘feel’ of the classes here at National College.  The instructors can give more one-on-one instruction and I don’t have to compete with 30 other students.”

Nancy Wilcox, career center director said, “We appreciate his outstanding service to our country and wish him success as he pursues his educational and professional goals.”

Veteran Jonathan Arthur is working towards his associate’s degree in information system engineering.


Aultman Hospital Field Trip

Aultman Hospital Field Trip

On Thursday, June 20th nineteen medical assisting, pharmacy technician and health information technology students from the Stark County Campus visited Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio - and came away inspired.  They were accompanied by Health Care Education director Mirjana Ilijevski, health information technology director Ryan Dickson, and career center director Lisa Cook.  Students got a taste of what they will do during externships and when they obtain employment. They also learned about the rules enforced at work, professionalism, and most importantly, the confidentiality and privacy of their patients.

The medical assisting and pharmacy technician students visited the Aultman emergency room, while the health information technology and medical office specialist students visited the Aultman Electronic Records Facility. In the emergency room, Aultman representative Marlinda Marlburger explained ER staffing and the nature of the work. Students learned that those who complete the medical assisting program at American National University are qualified to work in the emergency room as a “tech 2.” Job duties include resuscitation in trauma cases, stocking ER supplies, blood draws, assisting clinicians when needed, and some clerical work.

Julie Cross, Aultman HR manager explained the Aultman interview process to the students, as well as the “do’s and don’t’s” when interviewing in the medical field.
The final fun and informative activity was a quiz in which students had to find mistakes made on purpose in the setup of a patient room.  Students pointed out ways in which HIPAA laws were violated, as well as setup mistakes that could potentially lead to medical mistakes.

Medical assisting student Ellen Hattery said, “Taking this field trip was a very good experience.  A lot of students are not fully aware of what their career field entails.  This was a wonderful way to learn some different aspects of [our] degrees before graduating.”

Medical assisting and Pharmacy Tech students visiting the Aultman emergency room: Front row (l) to (r): Cameron Autery, Krystal Neff, Traci McGlothlin, Back row (l)to (r):  Ellen Hattery, Syeeda Christian, LaTasha Brown, Sarah Floyd, Brook Ratliff.

Student’s First Aid and CPR Class Training Makes an Impact

Student’s First Aid and CPR Class Training Makes an Impact

The Knoxville Campus medical assisting program recently participated in the American Heart Association’s First Aid and CPR class.  This certification is required in order for the students to proceed into their externship and is an invaluable skill set to have.  Student Tonya Marsh was presented with a real-life situation to apply her newly learned skills when a neighbor experienced a medical emergency. She immediately assessed the situation and observed a relative of the victim inappropriately performing the procedure.  Tonya let the individual know that she was trained and began CPR while another bystander called emergency services.   She continued until the first responders arrived and took over the scene. 

Healthcare director Barb Neblett commented on Tonya’s professionalism, “We are extremely proud of Tonya.  After [finishing] the course, she took the initiative and [used] her training.”  Campus director Roger Jones came to Tonya’s class to recognize and to praise her actions. “Tonya demonstrated a brave act.  Through her training and courage, she provided action to an emergency situation.  She is a great example of what we are about here in Knoxville.”  In speaking with Tonya afterwards she said, “I saw a need and knew I could help and wanted to make a difference.”

Tonya Marsh, MA student (l), is pictured with campus director Roger Jones (r).

Advisory Board Member Pays Great Dividends for Students in the Medical Programs

Advisory Board Member Pays Great Dividends for Students in the Medical Programs

Timothy Johnson is a practice manager for a satellite medical office of Premier Health Partners, one of the largest employers in the Greater Dayton Area. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Beavercreek office, which includes of 6 physicians, a nurse practitioner, and 11 medical assistants. He is one of the newest advisory board members of the Dayton Area Campus.

Because of Tim’s involvement with the campus, Premier Health Partners has hosted externships for several medical assisting students as well as hired graduates from the campus’s medical assisting and medical office assistant programs. In addition, Tim has agreed to use his vast job referral sources at Premier to help the externs he works with find a job. 

“American National University students are very well trained with a solid educational foundation,” he said of his support for the college’s medical training programs. He admits to being very selective during his interview process, which consists of 20+ behavioral questions.  He also evaluates technical skills, both oral and written. He gives preference to applicants that have completed a formal education and display a positive and upbeat personality.

Tim feels strongly that the best route one can take towards a career is getting a technical education degree first.  For this reason, he has been instrumental in assisting others with pursuing a technical degree, especially in the allied health field where he started his career as a nursing assistant at a local nursing home.

As a result of Mr. Johnson’s commitment to the college, on Thursday, June 20, 2013, during its June advisory board meeting, the Dayton Area Campus presented a Distinguished Community Employer Award to Beavercreek Family Medicine.
The Distinguished Community Employer Award is given quarterly to a business leader in the Dayton, Ohio area that provides National students with the competitive edge through career opportunities and/or externship experiences.

Dayton Area Campus  presents Distinguished Community Employer Award to Beavercreek Family Medicine’s, Tim Johnson. From Left to Right Campus Director Arthur Wagner, Practice Manager Tim Johnson and Director of Healthcare Education Derrick Parks 

MAA Degree Opens Door to Unique Opportunity

MAA Degree Opens Door to Unique Opportunity

Since she was young, Kristi Thornsbury had been interested in the medical field.   She wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do in medicine.

 It was her two sisters who led her to National College where she accomplished her goal. The sisters were unhappy with the college they were attending and urged her to come with them to assess National College. All three decided to enroll and Kristi chose the medical assistant program at the Princeton Campus. After graduation, Kristi interviewed for a unique employment opportunity as a sleep technician with Dr. Patel’s Lung Disease & Sleep Disorders Clinic in Princeton.  Upon offering Kristi the job her supervisor told her she was the only person who was enthused when she arrived to the interview and had the same demeanor when she left.

During the night she is in charge of observing four monitors pertaining to a patient’s sleep process. Kristi uses different parts of her medical training that she received at National to accurately evaluate and make decisions regarding the readings she observes. CPR is a must for employment at the clinic and Kristi says that without her medical terminology experience she could not complete her paperwork since abbreviations are used for the terms. Her math comes into play as she gauges the distance while placing between 5 and 7 wires on a patient’s head using a 10 – 20% separation system.  She observes the results of EKGs, heart and pulse rate, and air flow progress on several monitors. If a patient stops breathing for more than 10 seconds, sleep apnea is diagnosed. Depending on the severity of sleep apnea, Kristi must determine whether or not a patient must seek treatment at a hospital immediately.  Kristi is happy with her unique medical position.

Graduate Kristi Thornsbury is employed as a sleep technician.

Distinguished Community Employer Award Presented to Shareable Ink

Distinguished Community Employer Award Presented to Shareable Ink

National College presents a quarterly “Distinguished Community Employer” award plaque to local employers who support its graduates and students through employment, externship opportunities, and tuition assistance.

Shareable Ink works with a variety of organizations to implement electronic health records (EHR) solutions in an intuitive and beneficial manner. 

From the Madison Campus, Susan Sircy, administrative assistant and Adella Harris, career center director, visited Shareable Ink to present the award to the company.  In attendance was the company’s IT Manager, ShareMU manager, CEO, and the company’s marketing manager.

Shareable Ink’s employees gathered together to witness the company’s Distinguished Employer award presentation. As Adella made the presentation, she said that she “hopes that National College and Shareable Ink, will have a continued flourishing relationship.” 

Adella Harris presents the Distinguished Community Employer Award to employees of Shareable Ink. 

Difference Maker - Pamela Van Nutt - Computer Technology Department Chair

Difference Maker - Pamela Van Nutt - Computer Technology Department Chair

Pamela Van Nutt at the Martinsville Campus

Computer Applications Technology Department Chair and instructor of computer applications courses

National College faculty member since 2001
More than 10 years of experience as a business application programmer

Holds an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, both in computer science; currently working towards a Master of Business Administration degree from American National University

     My greatest reward as an instructor is when a former student returns to tell me how what they learned in my class has helped them in their career and/or everyday life.
     I try to adjust my assignments to the student’s level. I try to give assignments that challenge but do not overwhelm or discourage my students. I give a variety of hands-on activities to show the course material in different ways. Some students need to see a video, others need hands-on. I try to cater to each student when possible.
     I love to see when a student goes from my helping them, to the joy they feel at accomplishing a task on their own, and then showing a classmate how to accomplish that task.

Computer Department Chairperson Pamela Van Nutt instructs student Jennie Patterson on web-based resources available for coursework assistance.

Dress for Success Event Held

Dress for Success Event Held

In order to help the students dress well and present themselves well in job interviews, the Columbus Campus held an event titled “Dress for Success.”  Career center director John Tyus arranged the affair, and he started everything off with some instruction on how to dress well on the day of the big job interview.  He instructed them to stick with dark colors like grey, black, or navy blue.  He also showed the men what types of ties were and weren’t appropriate for an interview, and he stressed the importance of always wearing a jacket with your suit or skirt. 

Admissions director Gary Spence took some time to talk to the students about how to make sure they are making good impressions in interviews.  He stressed the importance of making sure your clothes are fitted properly, and he showed everyone how to wear a tie.  Before coming to American National University, Gary owned his own TV repair business, and he shared a story about a gentleman who came in one day for an interview.  Gary said the man wore a rumpled shirt, was not wearing a tie, and slouched in his chair when he sat down.  “Do you think I hired him so that he could go out and represent my business to the community?” Gary asked the audience. 

Adjunct instructor Bob Kile and Student services representative Lakesha Banks also took turns sharing stories and tidbits about how to dress and conduct oneself in an interview.  Topics covered included how much cologne or perfume to wear in an interview (very little if any), making your resume look really professional to preserve a good first impression, and wearing jewelry that isn’t too flashy (if you wear any at all).

Medical Assisting student Farnaz Yeganeh found the event especially informative and enjoyable.  “I will feel confident in an interview.” 

Dress for Success” participants that learned what to wear to job interviews.

Graduate Inspires Teens as Director of the Richmond Teen Center

Graduate Inspires Teens as Director of the Richmond Teen Center

Georgia Parks, a single Mom, was working for a temporary employment agency when she decided that it was time to earn her college degree to set a good example for her children.  She came to the American National University Richmond Campus, where she found the flexible class schedule and personal attention that she needed to be a success.   “I graduated two days before my son did from high school,” she recalled proudly.

Today, Georgia continues to inspire teenagers in her work as director of the Richmond Teen Center, a non-profit organization operated by the city of Richmond.  The center, which caters to youth ages 11-18, offers support and encouragement to area teens through after-school and summer programs.

Georgia has found the management and technology skills that she gained in her program at American National University are essential for keeping the Richmond Teen Center running smoothly.  She oversees purchasing at the center, organizes field trips, speakers, and community service projects, and assists the teens who visit the center with their homework and computer skills.

Georgia encourages other single mothers not to hesitate to get the education that they need to find a stable career.  “If you’re a single Mom, it doesn’t matter how old you are, school is for you.  You can do it,” she said.

Graduate Georgia Parks works as the director of the Richmond Teen Center.

Medical Assisting Graduate is Hired During On-Site Interview at the Lexington Campus

Medical Assisting Graduate is Hired During On-Site Interview at the Lexington Campus

Jennifer Nuckels, a graduate of the Lexington Campus, was recently hired as a registered medical assistant by Ageless Medical Weight Loss Center and Medspa during an on-site interview at the campus.  Jennifer couldn’t be more pleased with her new job, or with the assistance that she received from career center director Cheryl Howell, who scheduled the on-site interviews.

 “Cheryl is the best.  She has been a huge help to me,” Jennifer said, adding that Cheryl also updated her resume, and conducted mock interviews with her.   

Jennifer, who formerly worked as a hairstylist, enrolled in the medical assisting program at American National University because she was tired of working nights and weekends.  She feels that her new job is perfect for her, combining her medical training with her background in cosmetology.  “I just love it,” she said.
Jennifer performs a variety of duties in both the clinical and administrative side of the center. She gives injections, pulls patient’s charts, assists patients with selecting food, and schedules appointments.  She will be attending training soon to become certified as a laser technician, and she feels that there are many opportunities for advancement with the company.
An added benefit of working at Ageless Medical Weight Loss Center and Medspa has been the great improvement in her own health that Jennifer has found by following the company’s weight management plan.  “It has changed my life.  I feel so much better,” she exclaimed.  

Jennifer Nuckels (pictured) was hired as a registered medical assistant by Ageless Medical Weight Loss Center and Medspa during an on-site interview at the campus.  


The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.