A Half Century of Health Care Training in JacksonvilleMar 2, 2020
For over 60 years, Concorde has offered health career training. We are proud of the work each of our campuses does for their students and communities. We are excited for our Jacksonville campus as they celebrate 50 years, that's half a century of serving the Northeast Florida health care community.
A Brief History of JacksonvilleConcorde Career Institute was founded in 1968 as the Florida College of Medical and Dental Assistants. In 1974, it was acquired by Concorde Career Colleges, Inc. of Mission, Kansas. Jump ahead to March 24, 2003, when the Jacksonville campus launched its first Practical Nursing class of 30 students. 2004 saw the launch of our Surgical Technology program. Then, in 2007, our Respiratory Therapy program began. The Jacksonville campus continued to grow by adding the Nursing (RN) program in 2008. In January 2010, Jacksonville opened the doors to the Physical Therapist Assistant program, and later in 2010 Concorde opened up a branch location in Orlando. In 2013, Jacksonville moved to its current location at Salisbury Road, and currently offers eight different programs including Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Medical Office Administration, Nursing, Practical Nursing, Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, and Surgical Technology.
Working with the CommunityConcorde is committed to community service, as we feel giving back is an important part of the health care community. Our Jacksonville campus definitely plays its part in supporting that commitment - from hosting community clothing drives and collecting sock for the homeless to volunteering at local food banks, donating personal care products to women's shelters and coordinating community blood drives. Jacksonville Medical Assistant and Medical Office Administration Program Director Elysia Cochran explained, "Between various programs we are very involved with the community. The Dental Assistant program often goes out into the community and participates with health fairs and provides cleanings to people who may not be able to afford them. The Nursing and Medical Assistant programs work together with the Duval County School Board to do hearing and vision screenings at local elementary schools. And the Medical Assistant program also goes out to various health fairs and performs blood pressure screenings and blood glucose screenings."
Jacksonville Campus CultureRay Riley, Director of Student Affairs, describes the culture at Jacksonville as "constantly working on providing good customer service and an exceptional learning environment." "We strive to have great working relationships within the community and often network with organizations to build strong business-to-business partnerships that benefit our students and the community," Riley said. Jacksonville has a diverse team of associates which thrives with student success. Everyone on the staff is genuinely enthusiastic about the student's success and many have been working at Jacksonville for a long time. "The longevity of the employees is what makes our campus unique," Cochran said. "One of our Medical Assistant instructors has been here for 30 years! There are other employees who have been here 23 years and 19 years. That speaks volumes for the campus." She goes on to say, "We are in every sense a family. We are a group of people who work endlessly to change the lives of students every day. Every department works well with each other and we always support and uplift one another!" "For me personally, my favorite part of working at Jacksonville is working alongside my fabulous faculty and students every day. Having students come by my office just to say hello, or for even just to get some candy is what truly makes my day," she said. "Seeing students who I know are struggling in their personal life making the effort every day to change their life is what it is all about. I LOVE my students! Even if they cause me several new gray hairs every day!" Riley says his favorite part of being on the team is, "Experiencing Orientation and Commencement. It's always a thrill to see the curiosity on new faces as they begin their educational journey. Then watching the trials and tribulations of students as they go through school, then culminating later when seeing them graduate. It's an experience I am glad I get to be a part of."
What's Yet to ComeHopefully- another 50 years! We are proud of the role our Jacksonville campus has filled in the local health care community for the past half-century. And we want to keep that momentum going. Stop by and see all the good things happening on campus sometime. We're always happy to see alumni and to hear about your success!