The College of Southern Maryland recognized 70 students for completing their Continuing Education and Workforce Development Healthcare programs Dec. 10 in a traditional pinning ceremony, according to a college news release.

“What an exciting day for our 70 completers, and those who are receiving their pins this afternoon of our Continuing Education and Workforce Development Healthcare programs in clinical medical assistant, certified nursing assistant, geriatric nursing assistant, dental assistant, electrocardiogram technician, phlebotomy technician and certified medicine aide at the College of Southern Maryland in 2019,” offered CSM President Maureen Murphy. “For many of you, this is an achievement you have dreamed of, and on behalf of the college’s dedicated team, we are delighted to help make your dreams become your reality.

“You made a wise — and powerful — decision to pursue your career goals and achieve your dreams at the College of Southern Maryland,” Murphy continued. “Our healthcare programs connect our students with the tools they need to be better health professionals, and it is through these programs that our students learn the skills necessary to grow in an existing job or to launch an entirely new career. Southern Maryland cannot afford to waste the talent of one individual and so we are very proud of our students and are excited to celebrate each and every one of you and your accomplishments.”

Also taking the stage to celebrate the graduates, Ellen Flowers-Fields, CSM associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development pointed out there has never been a better time to be in healthcare.

“Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that healthcare is among the fastest growing employment sectors overall, growing nearly 20 percent by 2026 in order to adequately care for our aging population,” Flowers-Fields said. “With that in mind, our completers today can enjoy such career opportunities in their respective fields as: medical assistants and phlebotomists can take advantage of career field growth opportunities ranging from 24 to 29 percent, with nearly 90 percent of all employers preferring post training certification, like each of you now possess.

“Job growth for nursing assistants in general is expected to be at a rate of 11 percent, faster than the average for all occupations and is expected to create 173,400 new positions by 2026,” she continued, adding that employment of dental assistants is also projected to grow 11 percent. “The aging population and ongoing research linking oral health and general health will lead to continued increases in the demand for preventive dental services.”

A recent report by CNN Business Reporter Anneken Tappe echoed Flowers-Fields.

“America’s health care sector is an employment powerhouse that is keeping the US labor market strong,” Tappe reported. “Healthcare hiring is so robust, the industry would be pretty much immune to a recession or changes in politics.”

Tappe went on to quote Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr Andrew Chamberlain who called healthcare “by far the largest and healthiest sector of the economy.”

Key to the success of each graduate is the CSM staff and adjunct health care faculty. CSM Healthcare Program Director Lori Proctor recognized Dr. Marvin Becker, Connie Connor, Jessica Dych, Corissa Figueredo, Dr. Denise Gaylord, Brenda Gentles, Jennean Hodge, Betty Ratliff, Selma Sinclair, Cindy Summers, Brenda Wilson, Jill Lassiter and Beverly Shoaf,

“The College of Southern Maryland is fortunate to have dedicated staff and faculty,” Proctor said.

Before recognizing the completers with their healthcare pins, CSM Healthcare Course Manager Jill Lassiter thanked the various clinical partners across the Southern Maryland region who play vital roles as trainers and employers of CSM’s healthcare program participants.

“As you can imagine, there are many partners involved to help make this program a reality and I would like to take a moment to recognize their support,” Lassiter said before calling on representatives from Chesapeake Shores, DATS, Genesis Healthcare Waldorf Center, LabCorp, Sagepoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Solomons Nursing Center to stand.

Receiving their pins as 2019 completers of the CSM Continuing Education and Workforce Development Healthcare Programs were:

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Program

MaKayla Cardova

Dominique Cork

Amber Francis

Gabriel Gonzales

Molly Hudson

Daisha Johson

Alexandra Tillett

Vernon Wingate

Certified Nursing Assistant/ Geriatric Nursing Assistant Program

Megan Floria

Ashlee Gorman

Tayonna Gray

Micah Lewis

Hannah Manzi

Danielle Marrero

Hollie Matthews

Trenea McKissic

Hannah Miller

Courtland Moran

Maritrese Nash

Shirley Onyeukwu

Kayla Proctor

Sherri Riess

Kelly Shannon

Ruby Steuart

Madeleine Walter

Kira Watkins

Gabrielle White

James Young

Dental Assistant Program

Jessica Anderson

Tyler Burton

Crystal Bush

Amanda Chapman

Amber Farrell

Daniela Folchetti

Leslie Gomez

Nashundra Gross

Janissa Harding

Christan Holmes

Destiny Mitchell

Disaundra Murphy

Diana Owens

Halay Poole

Billeigh Reese

Ki-Ya Rodriguez

Summer Sargent

Lyndacee Sells

Laura Thomas

Tayler Woods

Phlebotomy Technician Program

Anna Canter

Delanah Colbert

Ebony Cole

Alexandra Coppage

James Easter

Kaitlin Horak

Samantha Lester

Angela McCollum

Danielle Parker

Hannah Shepard

Emilie Strozier

Michelle Thomas

Irene Thompson

Ashley Thorne

Shyane Wood

Aaliyah Yates

Certified Medicine Aide

Meaghan Beasley

Tia’Desha Harris

Temilola Oketola

Yasmine Posey

Maria Seward

For photos from the event, visit