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NORFOLK – At a special ceremony in the Hampton Roads Veterans Employment Center here June 25, Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation making the Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ Military Medics and Corpsmen Program permanent. He also charged the MMAC team with hiring 300 qualified veterans through the program by the end of his administration.

“As a former Army doctor, I worked alongside military medics while treating Soldiers injured during Desert Storm,” said Northam. “Our medics and corpsmen have extensive training and valuable experience, but unfortunately until Virginia took the lead in establishing the MMAC Program that recognizes this service, it was difficult for them to use these skills as they transitioned to the civilian workforce. Over the past two years, working with our partner health care systems across the commonwealth, MMAC has proven to be a great success. I am pleased to sign this legislation, making the program permanent.”

Established by the Virginia General Assembly as a pilot program in 2016, MMAC provides a path to careers in the civilian health care industry for recently discharged Army medics, Navy and Coast Guard corpsmen, and Air Force medical technicians. MMAC collaborates with major health care systems to provide employment for former medics, corpsmen, and technicians, allowing them to maintain their clinical skills while obtaining the required civilian medical credentials. Since the program’s inception, 76 veterans have been hired in civilian health care, and 43 of them met the qualifications to practice specific advanced skills learned in the military.

“I extend my thanks to all of our members of the General Assembly who supported this program that again shows why Virginia is the most veteran-friendly state in America,” the governor further noted.

MMAC is modeled after the highly successful Veterans Health Administration Intermediate Care Technician Pilot Program, which operated in 15 federal Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Virginia is the first state to create a program of this nature with others across the nation beginning to implement similar programs.

“The MMAC Program is a true example of the innovative initiatives and public-private partnerships that help our service members transition to the civilian workforce and contribute to the economic well-being of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins at the signing event.

Delegate Christopher Stolle also spoke highly of the measure, looking at it from the perspective of a retired Naval officer and physician. “I can personally attest to the relevant, real-world experience military medics and corpsmen hold from their extensive military education and training,” he said. “They are outstanding candidates to fill gaps in Virginia’s health care workforce. I am pleased to see so many health systems making moves toward capturing the clinical skills and overall talent and experience that our veterans bring to the health care industry.”