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Ultimate Medical Academy Celebrates Thousands of New Healthcare Professionals at Virtual Commencement

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

Tampa, Fla. – September 28, 2020 – Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), a non-profit higher education institution with the mission of equipping and empowering students to excel in healthcare careers, hosted nearly 8,000 graduates at its first entirely virtual commencement ceremony on September 26, 2020. The live-streamed event honored the thousands of UMA students earning their degrees and diplomas this year and allowed friends and family members from across the nation to join the celebration.

As the new graduates begin their allied healthcare careers, they are playing a more vital role than ever in improving well-being for themselves, their families and the communities where they live. Graduation represents the culmination of months or years of hard work and dedication.

“Growing up, I only associated the healthcare industry with doctors and nurses — the folks who provide the hands-on care to treat bad injuries or perform surgeries,” said UMA’s online campus speaker Ricardo Turner. “It wasn’t until I discovered UMA that I learned about the other worlds in healthcare. Medical Billing and Coding allowed me to see a path to a healthcare career I could nurture in my hometown, allowing me to remain close to my ailing grandmother.”

While allied healthcare roles have always been critical, this year has truly underscored the importance of quality healthcare providers. In 2018, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected1 that 12.5 million workers would be needed to fill new or open healthcare roles leading up to the year 2028. UMA partners directly with healthcare employers to understand the industry’s talent needs and help match qualified graduates to much-needed positions.

“It only took one, ‘Yes’ from UMA to help me get closer to achieving my dream of becoming a registered nurse,” said graduate Amarius Allen, speaking on behalf of UMA’s Clearwater Campus. “UMA has had an impact on not just my life, but on the many I will care for in the future.”

Attendees were inspired by student speakers in addition to a keynote address from Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. Armour emphasized the importance of resilience and grit in her own life journey, as well as in the journey of UMA’s newest graduates.

Armour’s experiences as Nashville’s first female African American motorcycle cop; Tempe, Arizona’s first female African American police officer; and as a U.S. Marine serving two combat tours in the Persian Gulf give her a unique perspective on the guts and perseverance needed to overcome obstacles and achieve dreams.

“This year’s graduates are amazingly resilient,” said Armour. “They’re the kind of heroes we need right now; they’re ready to go head-first into the unknown versus running from it. They are answering the call to serve in the healthcare field, even in the midst of a global pandemic. They are truly today’s heroes.”

Even though graduates have ”crossed the stage” virtually, their connection to UMA is far from over. Support services are available to all UMA alumni as they progress in their careers, beginning with an assigned Career Services advisor to help connect them with openings that match their new qualifications as well as assist with resume and job interview preparation. UMA also partners directly with allied healthcare employers around the country to identify talent needs and keep up to date on employer needs.

Learn more about UMA’s healthcare programs by visiting

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 (

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