Stay up to date with the latest press releases and news.

Ultimate Medical Academy to Host Virtual Commencement for Thousands of New Healthcare Professionals

America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, to address graduates at UMA’s first completely virtual commencement on September 26th

Vernice Fly Girl Armour HeadshotTampa, Fla. – August 31, 2020 – Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), a non-profit higher education institution with the mission of equipping and empowering students to excel in healthcare careers, will host nearly 8,000 graduates at its first entirely virtual commencement ceremony on September 26, 2020. The live-streamed event will honor the thousands of UMA students who completed or will complete their academic programs between November 11, 2019 and November 8, 2020, and will allow their friends and family members across the nation to join the celebration.

Events of this year have underscored the importance of quality healthcare, the ability to overcome obstacles, and continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. Those attending UMA’s Virtual Commencement will have the opportunity to hear a keynote address by Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot, who is a shining example of resilience and accomplishment.

“We are so proud of all our graduates and look forward to our first all-virtual commencement being as exciting and momentous as our live ceremonies have traditionally been, even if we cannot be physically together this year,” said UMA’s Executive Vice President Geordie Hyland. “We are thrilled to have Vernice join us to share her story and encourage our graduates to ‘take off’ into the next exciting chapter of their own stories as they launch new healthcare careers.”

Armour served as Tempe, Arizona’s first African American female police officer, before joining the U.S. Marines. She earned her wings and served two combat tours in the Persian Gulf before returning to civilian life. Her inspiring story of guts, grit and perseverance is a great reminder of what can happen when people do not let obstacles get in their way of their dreams.

“I’ve always thought of obstacles as opportunities, and this year has presented more than its fair share of both,” said Armour. “I know these UMA graduates have what it takes to overcome anything life throws their way, and I think it’s commendable that they’ve decided to devote their careers to helping others as healthcare professionals.”

As the new graduates begin their allied healthcare careers, more than ever, they are playing a vital role in creating a greater well-being for themselves, their families and the communities where they live. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[1] projects more than 12.5 million workers are needed to fill new and open healthcare positions in communities throughout the country in the decade leading up to 2028. UMA prepares students to meet this growing need by offering online and hands-on training opportunities in a variety of program areas including Healthcare Accounting, Health Information Technology, Healthcare Management, Medical Assistant, Nursing Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding and more.

UMA also continues to support graduates even after classes end. The institution partners directly with allied healthcare employers around the country to identify talent needs, and all graduates are assigned a Career Services advisor to help connect them with openings that match their new qualifications as well as assist with resume and job interview preparation. These support services remain available to all UMA alumni as they progress in their careers.

For additional information on UMA’s 2020 Virtual Commencement, visit Or to learn more about UMA’s healthcare programs, visit

About Ultimate Medical Academy: The need for skilled allied healthcare workers in the United States is critical and 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 associate degree programs, UMA works closely with healthcare companies to connect students directly to job opportunities.

Founded in 1994 and based in Tampa, Florida, 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 60,000 alumni and 14,000 students nationwide. It also has three individually accredited centers for Continuing Medical Education (CME) that provide 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). 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

[1] Table 1.2 in downloadable source file (