A Great Coincidence We Can’t Fail to Mention - National Medical Assistants Day & National Paralegal Day - by Kurt
So sometimes there are coincidences that are just too good not to mention. In our practice, in almost every area we practice in, there are two groups of people we can’t live without. And national days to honor them fall two days apart. So you better believe this week’s post is about the two of them, National Medical Assistants Day and National Paralegal Day, or as I call them, the ground troops of the medical-legal system.
National Medical Assistants Day this year falls on October 21st. It is celebrated in the third week of October to give recognition to the professionals who support our doctors and nurses, and in many cases us. The classification covers a variety of professionals who make the medical system work.
Medical Assistant was not a term that was truly defined or honored until the Kansas Medical Assistants Organization in 1955 help found the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). It quickly grew to 15 states. By 1963, it had helped to introduce exams in many states in the United States, creating competencies and standards that transformed the profession and the medical system. In the 1980's the AAMA created Medical Assistants Week to raise awareness about the profession and National Medical Assistants Day.
And their job is not easy. There are over 650,000 members of this profession, the vast majority , three to one, women. And it is growing quickly, with a nearly 20% increase in that number by 2030. They perform many duties in their day including paperwork, collecting medical data from the patient, greeting the patient as they arrive, scheduling appointments, and sometimes even administering medication and injections.
And we frankly couldn’t help our clients without their help on that paperwork aspect especially. Depending on what your medical and financial situation is with an Ohio Workers’ Compensation claim the doctors and other medical providers have to complete Medco-14's C-140's, C-9's, C-30's and Medco-31's while tracking which of these are needed, how to fill them out and who to get them to. And we see what the AAMA says is true, it’s a very demanding job with 32% of people leaving it within the first 1-2 years and only 6% making it eleven years or greater.
Now, besides working with them, and representing many of these skilled people, how do I know so much? Well I’m the Son of one. My Mother was a medical secretary, and later practice manager for several medical practices. So as I have said to several many doctors and medical staffs over the years, I’ve got to be nice to you, my Mom would kick my butt if I didn’t show you the proper respect.
Now, just two days later is National Paralegal Day, October 23rd. When explaining to clients what these professionals do, I us the analogy of medical assistants and nurses, and what they do for doctors is what paralegals do for attorneys. That is do the skilled, hard work, and we get to step in, maybe check some work, and get on to other things.
The terms Legal Assistant and Paralegal are used pretty closely, but in my mind, a paralegal usually handles a bit more complicated legal tasks including drafting legal documents. Legal assistants usually take do more fill in the blank completion, but believe me, we need them both
n 1973, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) produced a series of seminars and workshops for people who helped lawyers in law offices. Eventually, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) brought in about 15 other member organizations, established a code of ethics for paralegals and created a task force on credentialing criteria. Today the NFPA is comprised of 50 member organizations and 9,000 individual members.
And I can not operate without skilled legal assistants and paralegals. But I haven’t just had the honor to work with many of them in my 3 decades of doing this. I also got to teach as an adjunct instructor in the paralegal program at Stautzenberger College. I have also been a frequent guest lecturer for the University of Toledo’s program as well. And have had the honor of talking to the members of the Paralegal Association of Northwest Ohio (PANO) about our practice and how their help is vital.
So, what can we do to honor these two groups of professionals. So, whether you are a client, a patient, a lawyer or a nurse or doctor, here’s some ways you can do so:
1. Thank them in person the next time you see one at an office, clinic or hospital.
2. Send flowers or a card or goodies to the office with a thank you.
3. Make sure their bosses know about their good work, I always write and thank doctors and their teams for the hard work they do for our clients and do try to end every assignment to my with a thank you and recognition of them in front of our clients
4. Leave positive reviews online that praise not just the doctors and nurses, or attorneys but the team behind them.
5. Use the hashtag on social media - #MedicalAssistantsRecognitionDay for the amazing Medical Assistants and #NationalParalegalDay for the paralegal and legal assistants who help you out.
And I want to say thank you to every paralegal who has worked for us over the years and a few of the Medical Assistants who make our lives easier her at the Law Offices of Kurt M. Young. And this is in no way an exhaustive list, let me tell you. Over at Dr. Daniel Lollar’s office, Laura makes our clients feel like they are in good hands from the get go, and make sure that whatever we need is ready for our clients’ claims. And Lisa can tell you that as a patient as well. The same is true for Natalie and the team at 1st Choice Chiropractic. Drs. Connie Smith, Tim Trax and Casie Carr provide both excellent care, and get the job done for us on paperwork as well and Kurt can testify to that as a patient from time to time. Paibol and the team at Dr. Nathan Hill’s office deal exclusively with our crazy workers’ compensation system and take on the cases that many doctors run from. Last, but certainly not least is Jason Luginbuhl over at the University of Toledo Medical Center Orthopedics Department. Jason has been there for dozens up dozens of our clients and I can tell you I can’t name an attorney who does what I do that wouldn’t agree with this list.
So to the men & women who take care of us at doctors and lawyers offices’ thank you!
We are coming to the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. It runs from September 15th to October 15th. I can tell you for years I was confused as to why the month didn’t start on the first day and end on the last day of a month. But let me just say it’s not the job of those in a culture that has been treated as less than, to explain it to us who are currently treated better. We have a duty if we’re going to be good allies, friends and neighbors to do that for others So in getting ready to post about this, I did some research, and I want to share the info with you.
There is indeed a very good reason that time frame was selected. The month begins in the Middle of September and ends in the middle of October because so many Central American Countries gained their independence during that month, beginning on September 15 with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; September 16th is Mexico’s not Cinco De Mayo as some believe; September 18th for the people of Chile; and September 21st for the people of Belize.
According to the US Census Bureau almost 20% of the population are Latinos. Now there some debates about the words Hispanic & Latino. They are the most commonly used words to describe Americans whose ancestry includes Latin American and Caribbean. Some use Latino to describe people with cultural or ancestral ties to Latin America or the Carribean. Others include Black and Indigenous people. Hispanic is usually referring to the connection to Spain or the Spanish language.
Much of the Western US was part of Mexico. And Latinos and Latinas have contributed to our nation going back to serving in the US military back to the Colonial Army & Navy to the Present including Marcelino Serna who was the first Hispanic to win the Distinguished Service Cross as a Marine in WW I to Medal of Honor Recipients like Macario Garica for his service in WW II. We have brought into our culture contributions from Hispanic artists in all forms of the arts. Many people focus on the achievement of Latinos and Latinas in sports as competitors, but they have also contributed to our national past time as coaches and Linda Alvarado was the first woman to own a Major League Baseball Franchise, the Colorado Rockies.
Latinos and Latinas have contributed to our national movements to protect the rights of workers including Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez and Northwest Ohio’s own Baldemar Velasquez and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (going to have to name drop twice in one paragraph, Baldemar and is team at FLOC has our firm Administrator Elizabeth “Lisa” Ayala and I come to FLOC headquarters and talk about how our firm stands up for workers and the profession of lawyers and paralegals to their youth organization). Sylvia Rivera was a strong voice to stand up for the LGBTQ community. And our legal system is gifted with many fine attorneys and judges all the way up to Associate Justice Sonya Sotomayor (and I couldn’t resist saying my Law Fraternity Sister who welcomed myself and a group of my fellow Phi Alpha Delta members as members of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States when I was sworn in back in 2014)
If you’ve not seen the contribution of the Hispanic Community’s members to our Television, Movies and even theater, you’re not paying attention. Since the 1970's Cheech Marin has been giving myself and my family a reason to laugh. But he’s also is a huge advocate for all forms of Hispanic involvement in the arts. And he helped open the door for too many amazing Latino and Latina comics to list. Lin Manuel Miranda’s talents are on display as a song-writer, play-write, singer and actor from Broadway’s “In The Heights” set in a predominately Hispanic Neighborhood and his even more widely known smash “Hamilton”. Not as many people known about he has helped guide the music of shows like “Moana” and “Encanto”. And has performed in television shows as himself and as character parts; and in live action movies like “In the Heights”, and “Mary Poppins Returns”.
And forgive me a moment of geeky privilege and drop a relative by marriage into this mix. You only need to hear his most famous character’s name to know who the relative and their Hispanic spouse, “Ricky”. But he was also a talented musician and comedian before Television. But few know about what he helped do to the business of Television and our Pop Culture too. Along with my fourth cousin, his wife Lucille, they founded Desilu Productions. Which they ran together for 12 years until they divorced. Desilu Productions started out as their company to produce their traveling music and comedy shows. But it expanded into movies and TV shows.
Two of their creations have remained pop culture icons to this day. They helped create and protect Mission: Impossible and Star Trek among their over two dozens series with at least one season on air.
And outside of being entertainment entrepreneurs, Hispanic women & men have given us iconic fashion companies like Carolina Herrera and Jennifer Lopez (and you know the music and acting thing) just to name the most well known; Dr. C. David Molina founded Molina Healthcare, Inc. originally as healthcare clinics to serve working families in Southern California and grew in into an over 90 Billion Dollar in revenues Healthcare Company.
And we at the Law Offices of Kurt M. Young want to salute our own, Lisa Ayala. Lisa is the daughter of two amazing immigrants from Mexico. Along with helping run our firm, she has served on the Board of community groups, as a Treasurer for a congressional campaign, but also is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and deliver meals with Mobile Meals. She is a single Mom who raised an amazing Son, and is now, as she calls it Glam ma aka Glamorous Grandma. .
So as this month comes to an end, take a moment to learn about the contributions of Latinos and Latinas. Learn about some of these great Americans, their and others contributions to our culture, our legal system, and more And go and maybe support a Hispanic owned business. And thank you to our clients and neighbors whether they call themselves Hispanic or Latino