Primary Care

Project Title

Understanding Medical Assistants’ Role on Primary Care Teams Across New York State, Phase 2

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Primary Care

Date Awarded

June 14, 2024




In Progress


High-quality primary care is best delivered by a diverse team of professionals—including unlicensed professionals such as Medical Assistants, or MAs—who collaborate and combine skills to address the needs of patients and communities. But New York State lags other states in using MAs effectively; for example, unlike 49 other states, New York prohibits MAs from administering vaccinations. Because New York State does not license or define a scope of practice for MAs, primary care practices vary widely in how they use MAs and face barriers to using them in enhanced ways. With a 2023 NYHealth grant, the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH) and the Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University (GW) worked together to develop a research plan focused on variations in MA roles, barriers to expanding MA responsibilities, and MA recruitment and retention. NYACH and GW are now ready to implement the research plan. In 2024, NYHealth awarded GW a grant to assess how Medical Assistants (MAs) are used, trained, and retained within primary care teams across New York State.

Under this grant, GW will use surveys with primary care practice administrators, key informant interviews, and focus groups with MAs to yield practical ideas to inform primary care delivery and policymaking. These may include innovative models of team-based care; on-the-ground insights about policy solutions to expand MA responsibilities; gaps in training and opportunities for standardization; effective uses of State funding; and feedback on apprenticeship models and other professional development programs.