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Healthcare Careers Academy

three stick figures with a heart and heartbeat behind them.

The CCAC Healthcare Careers Academy (HCA) is a 2-week summer experience that is designed to expose 10th-12th grade students from the South Hills-Mon Valley area to family-sustaining career options in healthcare, allowing them to discover that today’s healthcare careers extend well beyond physicians and nurses – and that many of these careers can be attained with a CCAC education. This project, which is funded by the Jefferson Regional Foundation, aims to empower students with the goal to increase their own economic mobility, and, on a larger scale, improve the economic health of our region.

Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the various CCAC Allied Health and Science laboratories, shadow in a hospital setting, find potential mentors within the field, and have discussions with hospital health care professionals about the important work that they do. Students will also be challenged in critical thinking exercises to build the skills that form the basis of critical judgment, a key component for success in nursing and other health career programs. In addition, the program will expose participants to a variety of soft skills exercises that are aimed to empower students so that they may overcome the identified barriers to success. 

For more information or questions, please send an email to  


Check out Allied Health programs                

  • Medical Laboratory Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • And more…

Develop key critical thinking skills

Strengthen your soft skills

  • Resume and portfolio building
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Stress management
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving

Participate in self-confidence sessions to promote your success

  • Mindfulness
  • Wellness
  • Networking
  • Breaking self-doubt

Learn a variety of medical and laboratory procedures

  • Aseptic technique
  • Microscopy
  • Specimen processing
  • And more…


Camp Leadership:

CCAC Healthcare Careers Academy is led by a cohort of knowledgeable STEM and ALH education professionals who have many years of experience not only in the Higher Ed classroom, but also in their related fields.

COVID-19 Guidelines

Healthcare Careers Academy will be operating under CCAC's COVID-19 guidelines. For more information on CCAC's guidelines, click here

Heatlhcare Career Academy Sessions

  • Our CCAC President, Dr. Quintin Bullock.
  • Ace, the CCAC mascot, with (right)Dean Juel Smith (Associate Dean of Allied Health and Science and Director of HCA) and guest presenter (left) Dr. Deanna Sinnex.
  • CCAC students, Sabrina Boyle, Myrian Perez, and Nikhia Sharpey  learning about medical terminology.
  • Physical Therapy Assistant program presentation by Dr. Norman Johnson (CCAC Faculty member).
  • Healthcare Career Academy participant, Myrian Perez, viewing microorganisms under the microscope during the MLT program activity.
  • Participant Sabrina Boyle learning molecular biology techniques during the Biotechnology program session with Professor Caroline Evans.
  • CCAC student, Azaria Pinnick-Ellis learning about CPR and first aid from instructor David Donehue.
  • Heart dissection during the Gross Anatomy activity by Dr. Michael Zdilla (CCAC faculty); Students – Samantha Nonack and Amber Taylor; HCA coordinators – Patricia Donehue and Nicole Benjamin
  • Participants learning about interviewing and resumes from CCAC Career Services staff Hope Balanti and Lisa Redlich.
  • CCAC students prepped and ready to go for our visit to Jefferson Hospital.
  • CPR and First Aid session; Instructor David Donehue working with participant Amber Taylor.
  • Occupational Therapy program presentation by Dr. Lillian Briola (CCAC Faculty member).
  • Session 1 participants – Jubek Nyarsuk, Paige Prusak, Julieann Ferrante, Sabrina Boyle, Nikhia Sharpey, Myrian Perez, Ty Orsag, Kara Tekavec, Marley Vaughn.
  • CCAC students, Paige Prusak and Jubek Nyarsuk  learning about the Medial Lab Technichian program.
  • Healthcare Career Academy participants, Aniah Yarbrough , Azaria Pinnick-Ellis, and Amber Taylor, learning how to use a surgical stapler during the SUR/CST (Surgical Technologist and Central Service Technician) presentation with Professor Susan Miller (CCAC Faculty Member).
  • Participant Azaria Pinnick-Ellis learning about fluidotherapy from CCAC student, Alysse Dambrot, during the PTA program presentation.
  • Jubek Nyarsuk and Nikiah Sharpey practicing their surgery skills.
  • CCAC students earning how to analyze body fluids during the MLT session.
  • Bacterial analysis during the MDA (Medical Assistant) session with Professor Beverly Brady.
  • Dr. Michael Zdilla teaching students Dakota Williams and Olivia Macellaro about the parts of the sheep heart.
  • Dr. Michael Zdilla demonstrating on the Anatomage anatomy visualization system.
  • Anatomy and Physiology display at South Campus.
  • Nursing Professor Teresa Robinette instructing the students on human physiology during the Nursing program session.
  • CCAC students review the external features of the sheep heart.
  • Healthcare Career Academy coordinator Caitlyn Hunter demonstrating mindfulness and focusing exercises.
  • Students visit to the EMT office at Jefferson Hospital.
  • CCAC students practice basic CPR training.
  • Alyssa Bechtold, Alicia Bechtold, and Olivia Macellaro working to reassemble the human body.
  • CCAC students visiting the Central Service lab at Jefferson Hospital.
  • Visiting the Emergency room at Jefferson Hospital with the charge nurse, Kirsten Quigley, a CCAC Alumni. (Pictured left to right – Jocelyn Hargrove, Talia Davis, Samantha Nonack, Alyvia Bechtold and Dakota Williams.)

The 2021 season of the Healthcare Careers Academy has come to an end. We thank each of you for making this program a success!


Liv M. (Student) - "I would recommend this program because it gives students a lot of hands on learning.  It helps a lot if you are unsure of what career path you want to choose and want to learn more about what is out there. In the seven days that you are there, you will learn a lot about yourself that you did not know before. This program really helps show people the benefits of CCAC because many people discredit community colleges when comparing them to a four year school, but I have learned that CCAC offers some of the same opportunities and sometimes more than traditional four year colleges.  The experiences that this program have provided me with will stick with me through life."

Alyssa (Student) - "I would definitely recommend this experience due to the overwhelming amount of exposure to, not only the health care field, but other great qualities to have in the future.  The academy taught me time management skills, how to improve my emotional intelligence, and how to do well in interviews while making friends along the way.  The experience was beneficial and showed me how important the medical field is, and how each profession contributes to the patients' safety and well-being."

Dakota W. (Student) - "Attending this program taught me more than I anticipated.  I thought we were just learning more about the general health careers everyone knows about.  I learned so much more than what I thought I knew, about the medical field. For example, at the hospital, I never knew that there was a specific department for cleaning the instruments and preparing carts.  I would recommend this program to anyone, even if you do not have interest in the medical field.  It teaches you a lot about yourself and the people around you."

Dena Prusak (Parent) - “On behalf of my daughter, Paige Prusak, I would like to offer a huge thank you for such a great program! Paige updated me daily on the program and activities and I was impressed each day. Paige has been focusing on choosing nursing as a field of study in college but this program opened her eyes to the many other healthcare fields, particularly occupational therapy. It's great that CCAC offers this program and I'm thankful Paige was able to participate. Again, thanks for the work you do.”


The Jefferson Regional Foundation is a proud sponsor of the CCAC Healthcare Careers Academy.
Jefferson Regional Foundation Logo      Jefferson Regional Medical Center Logo