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July 23rd, 2014

Ulster BOCES Hosts Two Gradation Ceremonies

Sendy O’Brien, Kingston; Chalice Ohlson-Brady, Kingston; and Luisa Ramos, Napanoch; celebrate graduating from the Ulster BOCES Medical Assistant program.

PORT EWEN – The Ulster BOCES Adult Career Education Center hosted two healthcare graduation ceremonies on June 19 at the Career & Technical Center in Port Ewen: 13 Surgical Technologist and 14 Medical Assistant students from across the region were recognized for completing the rigorous programs.

Medical Assistant students complete 840 hours of training (including a 120-hour clinical internship in a medical facility). They then have the opportunity to take and pass the Medical Assistant Exam. Learned skills include a comprehensive overview of theoretical and clinical concepts, as well as the financial/administrative functions within a medical office.

Despite the rigors of these programs, students appreciate how the Ulster BOCES instructors strive to make the medical content accessible. "Mrs. Weinberger really works with people whether it is a language or learning barrier," says Melissa Barbier of Saugerties.

Graduates from this program come from a wide range of areas such as Saugerties, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, West Hurley, Highland, Ulster Park and Napanoch.

Thomas Desisto of Woodstock, who has been in the music industry since the mid 80s, is making a career change. "There were a lot of challenges having to learn all of the medical information," says Desisto. Going to school to be a Surgical Technologist is like learning 20 different jobs because there are so many different procedures," explains Desisto.

Some of the tasks that Desisto and his classmates mastered include: preparing operating rooms so that they are sterile, which helps lower the rate of infection in patients; preparing patients for surgery, including shaving, cleaning, and disinfecting surgery; and may also help take care of specimens, assist with dressings, and prepare medication.

Surgical Technologist students complete a 10-month, 970-hour program designed for candidates with no previous medical background. Their real world experience includes classroom and simulated laboratory work, in addition to clinical experience at various medical facilities in the area. Graduates from this program come a wide range of areas including Rifton, Monroe, Poughkeepsie, New Windsor, West Hurley, Wallkill, LaGrangeville, Kingston, Highland, Modena, and Lake Katrine.

Medical Assistant

• Silvia Argueta, Saugerties

• Melissa Barbier, Saugerties

• Patricia Cantamessa,


• Scott Ellison, Kingston

• Maritza Gallo, Kingston

• Kasey Maki, West Hurley

• Sendy O’Brien, Kingston

• Chalice Ohlson-Brady,


• Luisa Ramos, Napanoch

• Ana Rodriguez, Highland

• Donna Rodriguez, Kingston

• Erika Sairrino, Highland

• Carole Stephanou, Saugerties

• Sierra Williamson, Saugerties

Surgical Technologist

• Miles Berry, Rifton

• Eileen Chin, Monroe

• Carla Chivattoni, Modena

• Susan Cimorelli,


• Thomas Desisto, West Hurley

• Dana Goetz, Poughkeepsie

• John Gordon, Wallkill

• Barry Gruberg, Kingston

• Angela Henriquez, Highland

• Annmarie Marchiondo,

New Windsor

• Sarah Moran, LaGrangeville

• Taylor Sherman, Wallkill

• Melanie Wells, Lake Katrine

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