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Bellevue College wins $3.4 million to train health IT workers

The Federal Health and Human Services agency has awarded more than $3 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Bellevue College to address critical workforce needs for the widespread adoption and best use of health information technology.

United States Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius has enlisted the talent and resources of Bellevue College to advance the widespread adoption and meaningful use of health information and technology. The award made to Bellevue College is related to new health IT workforce requirements and provides $3,364,798 to establish a multi-institutional consortium. Along with Bellevue College, each college will create non-degree training programs that can be completed in six months or less by individuals with appropriate prior education and/or experience.

“Training a cadre of new health IT professionals is critical to the national effort to use information technology to realize better patient care,” stated David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, national coordinator for health information technology. “Bellevue College joins other academic institutions receiving awards to develop the necessary roadmaps to help health care providers and hospitals implement and effectively use electronic health records.”

HHS announced on April 2, 2010, that awards totaling $84 million have been made to 16 universities and junior colleges to support training and development of more than 50,000 new health IT professionals. Additionally, Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects awards totaling $60 million were also provided to four advanced research institutions ($15 million each) to focus on solving current and future challenges that represent barriers to adoption and meaningful use of health IT. Both sets of awards are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The awards are part of the $2 billion effort to achieve widespread meaningful use of health IT and provide for the use of an electronic health record (EHR) for each person in the United States by 2014.

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