Frances Winston - Basic Coding for Medical Office

Frances Winston

Growing up in poverty with little expected of her in terms of getting an education or building a career, Frances found a sense of acceptance within her peer group by becoming involved in activities which eventually led to her spending time in jail and having to leave her daughter in the care of others.

When she emerged from her time in incarceration, Frances made some tough decisions about rebuilding her life. With the help and support of her Steps to Success case workers, she began to develop an understanding of her own potential and of the life she wanted to live. Frances already had some unique skills; she is tri-lingual, fluent in Spanish and Vietnamese in addition to her native English. She had used those skills to provide medical interpreting in an on-call position for the past year, but was having difficulty finding stable employment.

In September of 2005 her Steps to Success career specialist referred her to the Career Pathways Basic Coding for Medical Office program as a way to round out her skills.

As part of the training, she also participated in 30 hours of job readiness preparation through the Career Planning course funded by WSI. This course helped Frances to understand the value of her skills and training and how to effectively market herself to employers. After updating her resume, she began actively looking for work using both past and newly learned skills. She soon landed an interview at Central City Concern. In the interview, she was able to take ownership of her past and talk about her focus on her goals for the future and what she had to offer. She did so well that she was given the job offer. Frances has decided to take the position of Receptionist/Medical Records clerk in mid February of 2006 and will be making $13.05 per hour.

But Frances is smart and continues to upgrade her skills; she is currently working on prerequisites for the Health Information Management program which she plans to begin in the fall. She credits her success to the DHS Steps to Success program and the Career Pathways case workers and career specialists who supported her, as well as her own determination to succeed.