Founded in 2004, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts offers imaging, medical assistant and nursing programs that provide students seeking careers in health care with professional skills, career-focused education and hands-on practical experiences. One of six campuses throughout California, Gurnick Academy’s Sacramento campus opened in 2017, complete with classrooms, fully-equipped labs, event space and a library. Currently, the campus serves more than 300 students from throughout Northern California at any given time.
Sacramento offers programs in medical assistant, X-ray technician with medical assisting skills, vocational nurse, A.S. in magnetic resonance imaging, A.S. in radiologic technology, and the A.O.S. in ultrasound technology. “Our Sacramento campus initially opened with imaging programs, as our employer partners had indicated a need for an imaging school in the area,” says Abraham Cicchetti, campus director. “We’ve added programs since, with vocational nursing as the latest addition. This year, it was launched to help address nursing shortages during the pandemic.”
Gurnick Academy graduates can sit for their certifications and boards backed by an education meeting the high standards set by multiple accreditations and membership organizations. This includes national institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and programmatic accreditation for the A.S. in Radiologic Technology program by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
Integral to student training are Gurnick Academy’s partnerships with critical hospital and healthcare partners, including UC Davis Health, Sutter Health, Dignity Health and standalone clinics, where students learn directly from clinicians on site. “UC Davis has been a valued partner since the inception of the Sacramento campus five years ago,” Cicchetti says. “They’re not only a clinical partner helping to train our students, but also an employment partner, hiring many of our imaging program graduates.” Additionally, UC Davis has provided Gurnick Academy with guest speakers and advisory board members to review and guide curricula and operations.
“Employers highly seek after our graduates and we will continue to provide those quality graduates to the health care industry.”
— Abraham Cicchetti, Campus Director
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the setting for outstanding achievement and dedication for Gurnick Academy and its students. Many students were called to action by Gov. Gavin Newsom during significant staffing shortages throughout the health care industry. “During the pandemic, our students continued their schooling while assisting as frontline health care workers,” Cicchetti says. “Furthermore, our faculty were resilient by shifting didactic lectures online and continuing lab rotations.”
Gurnick Academy’s commitment to mitigating shortages during the pandemic and other philanthropic endeavors has been recognized by the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS). CAPPS awarded Gurnick Academy the 2021 Community Service Award and the 2021 School of the Year Award.
Gurnick Academy is willing to innovate to solve the clinical challenges facing the health care industry. “We enroll new students into programs based on the number of clinical spots available,” Cicchetti says. “Our partnerships are an integral part of training the future of health care. When there’s a shortage of staffing, there is great difficulty in training enough clinicians. We address this by aligning with organizations that can support more clinical rotations for our students. The outcome is providing an invaluable need to develop the health care workforce for the community.”
Looking ahead, Gurnick Academy will continue to pursue opportunities to provide quality hands-on education in the imaging and nursing fields while practicing calculated expansion and examining teaching models and the latest technology to help prepare students for the future. “Employers highly seek after our alumni and we will continue to provide those quality graduates to the health care industry,” Cicchetti says.