Ultimate Medical Academy Celebrates Commencement for Thousands of Healthcare Student Graduates


Triple Emmy-Winning journalist and bestselling author Gaby Natale served as commencement speaker

UMA Graduate Melissa Neilsen Addresses Fellow Graduates

Neilsen shares her UMA journey as an inspiration to others.
Neilsen shares her UMA journey as an inspiration to others.

UMA Celebrates Nearly 6,000 Graduates at Commencement Ceremony

UMA prepares students to enter high demand healthcare field.
UMA prepares students to enter high demand healthcare field.

Tampa, Fla., April 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), a non-profit higher education institution with the mission of equipping and empowering students to excel in healthcare careers, celebrated nearly 6,000 graduates at its commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 22 at the Yuengling Center in Tampa.  The live-streamed ceremony honored students who completed or will complete their programs between July 11, 2022 and May 14, 2023. The event was live-streamed so UMA graduates, their friends and family members across the nation were able to join the celebration.   

During the ceremony, two UMA graduates shared personal stories of their journeys, highlighting the support and encouragement they received from UMA as they worked toward their graduation goals. Additionally, Gaby Natale, a triple Emmy Award-winning journalist and bestselling inspirational and motivational author, delivered a rousing keynote address about the opportunity to break barriers and redefine what is possible, an empowering message for students launching a new career.   

Alissa Geis became a mom at 18, obtained her GED ten years later and was enrolled in a medical assistant program at another school when she learned about UMA. 

“It was like opening the doors to an entirely different world when I entered the UMA Clearwater campus,” Geis shared. “Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. UMA allowed me to be in the educational environment that I always needed to have the comfort to learn.” 

Geis fully realized how much she was learning and able to apply in a real situation when she came across a traffic accident one night and was able to put her medical training to practice when no one else was helping the injured person. 

“There was no second guessing on my part in this moment,” said Geis. “Although it had only been two months since I had taken the UMA Lifesaving Measures course, I immediately used the skills I had learned to initiate CPR.” 

Alissa was able to resuscitate the person that night.  She graduated with a 4.0, is an Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society member, and was hired on her ninth day of her externship at a major hospital system.  

Melissa Neilsen always had a vision of a medical career. Growing up in the foster care system, that dream seemed to get further away due to lack of support and severe medical issues in her twenties. Her health became a factor again while she was enrolled at UMA. 

“After finally starting on my educational journey with UMA in the fall of 2021, I learned there was significant regrowth of cancer tumors. School became harder and so did the treatments.” said Neilsen. “The amazing support team at UMA gave me daily calls to make sure I was okay. My Learner Services Advisor knew just what to say to keep me from not only giving up on UMA but giving up on myself.” 

Neilsen went on to share, “UMA has given me the belief that there are people out there who want you to rise above the circumstances into which you were born. None of us must ever feel we are not meant for greater things.”  

Melissa was welcomed into the Alpha Beta Kappa honor society, graduated from UMA with a 4.0 GPA and working with UMA Career Services, had a job before she graduated.  

“We are so proud of all our graduates,” said UMA President Thomas Rametta. “Higher education is never easy. Most work full-time to support their families while they attend school with the goal of a promising career in healthcare. It is with a great sense of joy and pride that we celebrate their achievements.”  

The 2023 UMA graduates enter a field in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is projected to have nearly 2 million new jobs between 2021 and 2031. UMA prepares students to meet this urgent workforce need in one of our nation’s most vital industries by training students to succeed in allied health positions such as patient care technicians, medical office assistants, pharmacy technicians, revenue cycle specialists, behavioral technicians and more.  

Although commencement marks the completion of a graduate’s academic instruction, UMA’s support for its students continues long after graduation. UMA partners directly with allied healthcare employers around the country to identify talent needs, and Career Services advisors help connect graduates with openings that match their new qualifications, as well as assist them 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 2023 Virtual Commencement, visit https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/students/commencement/. Or to learn more about UMA’s healthcare programs, visit https://www.ultimatemedical.edu/.  


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 80,000 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 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals throughout the U.S. annually.  

UMA is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES, www.ABHES.org). 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 www.ultimatemedical.edu 


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CONTACT: Crystal L. Lauderdale Ultimate Medical Academy [email protected] 

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