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Dr. Jennifer Arnold will Keynote Ultimate Medical Academy’s Largest Commencement on April 21 in Tampa

Reality TV star and director of the Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital will inspire 7,600 UMA graduates to reach for their dreams no matter the obstacles.

TAMPA, Fla., April 19, 2018— Ultimate Medical Academy will hold the healthcare career school’s largest commencement to date at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. More than 1,200 graduates out of a total of 7,600 being recognized by the accredited nonprofit healthcare educational institution are expected to attend. The commencement ceremony (#UMAgrad) will be live-streamed to UMA graduates and their friends, and family members across the nation.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold, Medical Director of the Simulation Center at St. Petersburg, Florida’s Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, neonatologist, and cancer survivor, will deliver a commencement address to inspire the graduates to reach for their dreams no matter the obstacles. She is also widely known for starring in The Little Couple, a decade-long-running reality TV show on TLC that chronicles her home life with her husband, Bill Klein, and their two children. Arnold and Klein each have a rare form of dwarfism and have had multiple surgeries.

“I’m honored to be the keynote speaker at Ultimate Medical Academy’s Spring Commencement,” Arnold said. “UMA has been a longstanding community partner to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and helps students in Florida and across the country advance their education and pursue their dreams to have careers in healthcare.”

UMA employs more than 2,000 people in the Tampa Bay area, and offers diploma and Associate degree programs on-campus in Clearwater and online to more than 1,500 students in Florida and a total of more than 15,000 students across the country, preparing them for careers in healthcare.

The UMA commencement ceremony will open with the presentation of colors by Tampa’s Freedom High School’s ROTC and the singing of the National Anthem by retired United States Air Force Sergeant Sonya Bryson, a regular performer for the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. In addition, UMA Executive Chair Jane Swift, former Governor of Massachusetts; UMA President Derek Apanovitch; UMA Learner Services Advisor Gerardo Ponce; and UMA Graduate Debra Canady from Round Rock, Texas will deliver remarks. Canady recently completed UMA’s online program and will receive a Healthcare Management Associate of Science degree in Health Sciences.

“We are excited to have Dr. Arnold join our graduates, faculty, and staff at our largest commencement ever,” Apanovitch said. “Many of the 7,600 graduates we are recognizing had their Fall 2017 commencement ceremony postponed due to Hurricane Irma. They overcame that obstacle and, along with our 2018 graduates, many more of life’s challenges to advance their education and careers in healthcare.”

The commencement on April 21, 2018 is for UMA students who are eligible to graduate between April 17, 2017 and May 6, 2018.