Student Success Stories
Estephany Villavicencio, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
Estephany Villavicencio was fascinated by medicine since she was a youngster. Although she worked in banking for several years, she was dissatisfied with the business world. With her long-standing passion prevailing, she attended a Lehman College Continuing Education seminar to explore how to become a medical assistant. Although the program is eligible for Workforce 1 voucher that covers the tuition, Estephany’s background in banking did not qualify her to receive this voucher. She worked two jobs and used all of her savings to pursue her quest for medical education.
She earned her Lehman certificate in nine months, passed the National Healthcareer Association (NHA exam) in January 2016 and became a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).
Villavicencio praises the program, faculty and fellow students highly. "The classmates and I became a family I came to care for a lot"; they continue to remain in touch. "I even got my first job because of a referral from the program coordinator/teacher, Sheldon Stallings."
Her program externship was completed at Medical Associates of Wall Street. This was followed by a clinical and administrative position with a podiatrist, the position for which Stallings recommended for her. To avail herself of greater career opportunities, Villavicencio applied for membership in 1199SEIU, the largest healthcare workers’ union.Invaluable benefits for a member on a career ladder are tuition reimbursement to upgrade education and job referrals. The union arranged for an interview with her in what would become her next position as a Patient Navigator at St. Barnabas Hospital in a new government-funded program, DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment). DSRIP´s purpose is to fundamentally restructure the health care delivery system by reinvesting in the Medicaid with the primary goal of reducing avoidable hospital admissions by twenty-five percent in five years. In her position, she assists hospital ER patients and in-patients with transitioning back to the community by ensuring they have their medical needs met.
The next goal Estephany Villavicencio has set for herself is to return to college to earn a nursing degree. It is apparent that she will accomplish this, as her determination, fueled by her passion, is evident.