ARC/STSA is proud to celebrate our golden anniversary this year – 50 years of accreditation and education excellence. This year we’ll be looking back at the last five decades — from our humble beginnings in December 1972 as the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs for the Operating Room Technician (JRC-ORT) to today, as we provide national accreditation services for more than 400 higher education programs in surgical technology and surgical assisting. Click here to read more about the history of ARC/STSA and how it was originally formed under the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA).

There would not be a celebration without our programs! We reached out to our programs who have been continuously accredited since 1975-1979 to ask some questions on the history of their programs, and will highlight those programs all year long.

Featured in this newsletter is the surgical technology program at Manchester Community College Hartford Hospital Consortium in Hartford, Connecticut, which has been continuously accredited since August 1977! Program Director Terry Kennedy, MAT, CST, who has been a CST since 1975, shares details on her program, then and now.

Please tell us about your program, including some of its history. When did the program first start? 

The Manchester Community College Surgical Technology Program first became accredited in 1977. I came to the program in 2017 after the program went into inactive status to restructure for the best success of the ST students. As a result, 45 years later, it has evolved into a consortium program with Hartford Hospital as its partner. We were also fortunate to have hired two veteran CSTs, Zaley Lumpkin and Timothy Gregus, graduates of the original MCC Program, as Clinical Coordinator and Core ST Instructor. Michael Gilgenbach, another MCC ST Program success story, is one of our ST program administrators and Perioperative Director at Hartford Hospital.

Why was accreditation important then and now?

​We believe accreditation underscores the credibility and the importance of accountability in surgical technology education. Then and now, accreditation sets the standard to which we all should aspire. It also serves to provide our healthcare facilities with an expectation of competent entry level surgical technologist graduates, which stems from the criteria and thresholds set forth as completion requirements to graduate from an accredited surgical technology program. 

What changes has your program seen in its almost 50 years? What is on the horizon?

In almost 50 years, the MCC program has basically come full circle returning to its most successful model of surgical technology education, which a consortium program delineates so well. The college provides excellent didactic instruction in all non-core aspects of surgical technology education and prepares the college student to enter surgical technology education. Hartford Hospital employs seasoned CST instructors to provide didactic/clinical education in all core surgical technology coursework. On the horizon, we wish to continue to expand and better meet the growing community needs for certified surgical technologists.

What is your program most proud of accomplishing in its almost 50 years?

We are most proud of establishing and maintaining our steadfast pursuit of providing quality surgical technology education to surgical technology students. AST’s “Aeger Primo” sets the bar high, and we pride ourselves on clearing that bar every with cohort who passes the CST exam.

Kennedy with the MCC 2022 graduating class, who achieved a 100% CST examination pass rate and are all employed as CSTs. Huge congratulations from the ARC/STSA! 

How does your program plan to celebrate its 50 years?

Our 50th year will be 2027. Currently, we are celebrating one success at a time, one year at a time, one class at a time! In 2027, my wish is to invite graduates from all 50 years of Manchester Community College surgical technology classes to share in a gala celebration to honor the evolution of the profession of surgical technology and all those who have chosen this dynamic profession as their healthcare career choice.

Join us in San Antonio for our Golden Jubilee, 50th Anniversary Celebration, during AccredX! Click here for more details.

Revisit programs who have already celebrated their 50th in our newsletter archives: