Mary Ann Keith has been the Administrative Medical Assistant instructor at Bates Technical College since October 2013. Ms. Keith taught at another technical college from 2000 to 2008, then returned to industry to keep up with the current changes in healthcare. Mary Ann is on-track to become a tenured instructor in 2016.

1. What inspires you each day?  

The faith in knowing I am doing what I love.  To inspire in others their desire to find their “passion and what motivates them to get up every day and give 100 percent of themselves.  I am inspired by my students’ journey as they learn to find a work/life/school balance.  They inspire me to be a better person daily.

2. What is your mission at Bates?

My mission is to instill in my students a sense of pride and ownership for their education and their future careers.  To encourage them to be caring and have empathy for everyone they come in contact with on a daily basis.  The field of healthcare allows each of us to take a step back and know that there is always someone out there struggling more than we are.  This can be quite a humbling experience.  No act of kindness is ever wasted.

3. What would you say to encourage students to enroll in the Administrative Medical Assistant program?

The healthcare field is so diverse.  My program is that pathway for students to begin their journey into a career that provides endless opportunities for them.  The AMA program works on a motto that “change is the only constant.”  We all work very hard to keep up with all the changes in healthcare today, and we certainly have fun doing it!

We now offer an Associate in Applied Science degree option in the AMA program as well as a certificate.  It provides an additional credential that many students need to be competitive in the current workforce.

The AMA program recently became accredited by the National Healthcare Association, and the students are eligible to take the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam.  This provides them the CMAA credential that is recognized nationwide.  It provides for increased growth opportunities through employment and the potential for higher wage progression.

4. What is the best part of being a Bates Technical College faculty member?

To feel part of a team – both with my students as well as my colleagues.  I am grateful to have been given the chance to create a new face for the AMA program and encouraged to be creative and think “outside the box.”  Bates has encouraged me to provide the best educational opportunities for my students.

5. If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would that be and why?

My brother.  I lost my brother three years ago to suicide.  These tragedies are ones we cannot prepare for, and having one last meal to share with him and tell him how much I loved, respected, and admired him may have helped him not make such a drastic choice.  He is my hero and I would tell him so.