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Ultimate Medical Academy Marks National Volunteer Month with Focus on the “Ripple Effect of Care”

UMA Teammate Erik Nelson volunteers at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Phoenix, Ariz

During the height of the pandemic, the non-profit education institution sought creative ways to safely continue its tradition of volunteerism. Now, as restrictions ease, they’re combining remote work technology and their spirit of care to support communities across the country.

Tampa, Fla. – April 11, 2022 – As the COVID-19 pandemic upended many aspects of society starting in early 2020, many charitable and non-profit organizations struggled to sustain the volunteer-driven operations and fundraising needed to accomplish their missions. According to a VolunteerMatch report published in December 2020, two-thirds of non-profit groups operated that year on reduced resources, and 11 percent had to halt operations, at least temporarily.

During that period, Ultimate Medical Academy, a healthcare education institution with a strong tradition of volunteering in its communities, sought creative ways to continue supporting non-profit partners while working remotely to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Now, during National Volunteer Month (April) 2022, they are hoping to combine the strengths of a remote workforce with their unique spirit of care to support even more causes and communities nationwide.

“Volunteerism and contributing actively in our communities is part of our institutional DNA,” said UMA President Tom Rametta. “In addition to caring for our students, graduates, employer partners and each other, our team members truly love giving back to the communities in which we live and work. While the need to remain socially distant during the height of the pandemic kept us from some of our traditional volunteer activities, we couldn’t give up on giving back – especially not during a time of such exceptional need.”

In the past two years, UMA team members contributed donations and more than 7,700 volunteer hours to groups such as Feeding Tampa Bay (Feeding America), St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and more.

“Feeding Tampa Bay greatly values partners like Ultimate Medical Academy who model for others a true culture of volunteerism and caring,” said Kelley Sims, Chief Development Officer, Feeding Tampa Bay. “Giving thousands of hours to support our mission, UMA volunteers also bring a passion to prevent long term health impacts caused by hunger in those we serve.”

To make that impact during a period of intense social distancing, UMA used technology tools and began offering its team members Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to use toward causes big and small of their own choosing. For example:

  • The “Pacer” app engaged UMA team members in a remote step challenge to support the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. Through the challenge Team UMA collectively walked more than 15,000 miles for heart health.
  • Prior to the pandemic, UMA proudly built the largest Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in the state of Florida. In 2020, UMA seized the opportunity presented by a virtual walk to not only engage its team members in Tampa Bay, but to invite team members, students, graduates and partners from around the country to participate. In doing so, UMA built the largest volunteer team nationwide.
  • Using paid “Volunteer Time Off” (VTO), individual team members found safe ways to contribute to causes of their choosing. For instance, UMA Sr. Director of Corporate Alliance Erik Nelson, who is based in Phoenix, volunteered at COVID-19 vaccination site in his area. “Representing a healthcare institution, it was important to me to do something specifically to help stop the spread,” Nelson said. “During my experience, some people were driven to tears of joy by the relief they felt after receiving a vaccination.”

This spring, UMA issued its first “Community Impact Report” to capture stories of volunteering and community service and to help inspire others.

“We believe in the ripple effect of care,” said Nicole Anzuoni, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal & People Officer, and Corporate Secretary. “That is, when we take care of others, they are more able and empowered to pass that care forward. And ultimately, care comes back to each of us. By sharing the experiences of volunteering and community care that bring our team closer together, we hope it inspires others to start a ripple effect of care as well – the more the better.”

Inspiring others includes continuing efforts to inspire and support its own team members in volunteering. This month, in celebration of National Volunteer Month, UMA is holding virtual information sessions for its team members nationwide to learn about volunteer opportunities with Feeding America (Feeding Tampa Bay) and the American Red Cross. Both organizations have opportunities in UMA’s home base of Tampa Bay, as well as chapters nationwide.

“No individual or institution functions in isolation,” Rametta said. “The priorities we set and the actions we take affect others, and UMA aims to have a positive impact not only on the lives of its team members, students, graduates and healthcare employer-partners, but also throughout the communities in which we live and work.”

To learn about UMA’s community involvement and read “The Ripple Effect of Care: UMA 2021 Community Impact Report,” click here:

About Ultimate Medical Academy
The need for skilled healthcare workers in the United States continues to grow. Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) is an accredited, nonprofit educational institution that helps to meet that need by equipping and empowering students to do vital work at the heart of healthcare. In addition to offering diploma and degree programs, UMA works closely with healthcare companies to connect students directly to job opportunities.

Based in Tampa, Florida, and operating for more than 29 years, UMA offers hands-on learning at its main campus in Clearwater, Florida as well as content-rich, interactive programs through its online campus. The institution supports students through every step of their journey with access to academic support, interview and resume coaching, job search assistance, technical support and more.

UMA has more than 72,000 alumni and more than 10,000 students nationwide. The institution also provides certified continuing medical education (CME) through ongoing training and professional development opportunities to more than 30,000 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals throughout the U.S. annually.

UMA is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES, and is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The continuing medical education programs are individually accredited and are not included within the institution’s grant of accreditation from ABHES. Learn more by visiting

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