WPCC Unveils New Family Medicine Training Office


The family of Dr. Clay Richardson is pictured in the Clay W. Richardson, MD Family Medicine Training Office.

Western Piedmont Community College has completed renovations, which transformed a classroom into the Clay W. Richardson, MD Family Medicine Training Office.

This interactive classroom space was made possible by the family of Dr. Clay Richardson who gifted The Western Piedmont Foundation with a monetary donation to honor his life and legacy.

Dr. Richardson set up practice, Table Rock Family Medicine, in Glen Alpine, a town that had been without a primary physician for 8 years prior. His desire was to be in a rural area where he was needed most. After starting his practice, he began to look for medical assistants.

“He knew the value of Medical Assistants coming in and it wasn’t too long before he got involved with the college and the Medical Assisting Program,” Wife Joani Richardson said. “He then started learning that medical assistants were undervalued, underappreciated, and underpaid. That is when he became a champion for this college group.”   

Dr. Richardson served on WPCC’s Advisory Board for over a decade. After 37 years, his first medical assistant remains at Table Rock Family Medicine and is now the Practice Manager.

Medical Assisting students now have the opportunity for hands-on experience learning. In addition to a clinic, students can now experience the office aspects of Medical Assisting to complete tasks such as filing insurance, scheduling and confirming appointments, and maintaining patient records.   

“He [Dr. Richardson] became a voice for better wages, benefits, for recognition of our certification and credentials. Saying thank you to Dr. Richardson’s family for the gifts they have endowed the college with seems inadequate,” WPCC Program Coordinator of Medical Assisting and Department Head of Allied Health Rachel Bradshaw said. “They have ensured that his voice will continue to be heard and that his work will continue and change the lives of generations of Medical Assistants.”

The family of Dr. Richardson has also established an annual scholarship through the Western Piedmont Foundation to assist 25 Medical Assisting students, up to $400 per student, with the purchase of uniforms and equipment.  

Medical Assisting students are learning in the newly renovated Clay W. Richardson, MD Family Medicine Training Office.

“The family of Dr. Clay Richardson wanted to make a difference in their community and in students’ lives,” WPCC President Dr. Joel Welch said. “They made such a big difference in allowing us to create an experience for students that’s going to give us a better education and will make them better servants in our community.”  

WPCC offers the one-year diploma with a two-year associate degree option in Medical Assisting.  For more information, contact Rachel Bradshaw, CMA(AAMA) at 828 448 3501 or Vicki Shuping, CMA(AAMA) at 828 448 3172.  

About WPCC: 
Western Piedmont Community College is situated in the picturesque rolling foothills of Morganton, North Carolina, and has served the citizens of Burke County since 1964. Apply online at wpcc.edu or visit the WPCC campus to apply in person. 

About The Western Piedmont Foundation:  
The Western Piedmont Foundation was created in 1967 to secure public and private funding for Western Piedmont Community College. Funds raised by the Foundation strengthen the college’s ability to serve students and the local community. The Foundation provides student scholarships and financial aid in addition to funding for employee professional development, classroom and program enhancement, and community engagement. In 2021-22, the Foundation awarded over $67,000 in student financial aid, $33,000 for community programs, and over $6,000 for employee professional development opportunities.