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GBCC working to fill need for medical office specialists

Union Leader Correspondent

February 12. 2018 8:37PM
Great Bay Community College recently had its first group of students complete the medical office specialist certificate program. (COURTESY)

PORTSMOUTH — Lisa Fournier was working as a customer experience manager for TJX Companies at Marshalls when she decided it was time for something new: health care.

“My background is in retail management, and last year I decided to make a career change after 20-plus years,” Fournier said last week.

Fournier, 55, lives in Hudson and is the mother of two children, who are 16 and 19. She decided to enroll in the medical office specialist certificate program at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth.

“GBCC’s program was perfect for me because it was only 12 weeks. It was pretty intense but well worth the effort. It has given me a strong foundation to build upon,” Fournier said.

Fournier said she is starting a new job with Elliot Health Systems on Feb. 19.

GBCC is offering the certificate program in partnership with Exeter Hospital/Core Physicians, Appledore Medical Group and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. Officials say there is an urgent need for qualified employees.

Kim Hashem-Dugal developed the program. She said graduates are qualified to work as health care receptionists, hospital unit coordinators, operating room scheduling assistants or at the front desk of a doctor’s office, lab or hospital.

“Depending on the facility, medical office specialists can also hold the titles of medical office secretary, patient care representative, patient registration representative, clinical secretary, medical coordinator or health care coordinator,” Hashem-Dugal said.

Fournier was part of the first group of students to graduate from the program this past December. Classes for a new round of students begins Feb. 20.

For more information, visit, or call Hashem-Dugal at 427-7647.

Education Health General News Portsmouth

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