Pierpont adopts new programs to serve growing healthcare industry


FAIRMONT — Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, said Amy Cunningham, the interim dean of the School of Health Sciences at Pierpont Community & Technical College.

“As the population continues to age and the healthcare industry grows, so does the need for trained healthcare professionals,” Cunningham said.

Pierpont has created two new programs in the healthcare arena, a Medical Billing and Coding Certificate of Applied Science and Electronic Health Record Specialist Advanced Skill Set, while also revising its Licensed Practical Nurse program curriculum.

“Healthcare professionals will always be vital to the country’s infrastructure,” Cunningham said. “Students who pursue a health science program will enjoy job security.”

Medical Billing and Coding is considered the backbone of the healthcare revenue cycle that ensures healthcare providers are compensated in a timely fashion for services provided to patients.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Specialists are instrumental in ensuring the accuracy and efficacy of the electronic health record. The federal Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Mandate requires healthcare providers to convert all medical charts to a digital format. Thanks to the EMR, trained EHR professionals are in high demand, with huge growth in the profession projected over the coming years.

“LPNs are in high demand and are able to perform many of the same duties of a Registered Nurse,” Cunningham said.

The healthcare industry is expected to rapidly grow in West Virginia and across the United States. This allows students to choose where they want to live and work. Working in a healthcare career is also a rewarding career, Cunningham said.

“A hallmark of Pierpont is the ability to craft and develop programs that meet the needs of our workforce economy and industries,” said Pierpont Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost Michael

Waide. “The innovation or reimagination of these programs showcases Pierpont’s rapid response to meet the health care industry’s needs for a skilled and qualified workforce in North Central West Virginia.”

Students who complete these programs may start careers in outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices, dental practices, hospitals, rehab hospitals. These careers also allow for professionals to work as consultants, and most medical coders now work at home.

“These programs offer comprehensive training for students to join the rapidly growing healthcare industry,” Cunningham said. “These short-term options will offer Pierpont’s student population specialized training to serve our growing workforce needs while enjoying a rewarding career.

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