CLEVELAND, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator, today announced that Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) has been selected to lead a group of Midwestern community colleges that will offer health information technology (HIT) training to move the nation toward a system of electronic medical records. Tri-C will lead the Midwestern Consortium involving 17 community colleges who will receive a year one award of $7.5 million with potential for additional funds of more than $7 million in year two from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Grant No. 90CC0079).
The initiative is part of a nationwide effort to meet requirements of the HITECH Act, which mandates that every U.S. citizen have an electronic medical record by 2014. Tri-C and the other community colleges will use the grant funds to provide training to current and future healthcare workers who will integrate electronic health record information systems at hospitals, doctor's offices and other medical facilities throughout the nation.
The Community College Consortia Program provides assistance to five regional recipients to establish a multi-institutional consortium within each designated region. The five regional consortia will include 70 community colleges in total. 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. First year grant awards are estimated at $36 million. An additional $34 million is available for year two funding of these programs after successful completion of a mid-project evaluation.
"There is going to be a tremendous ongoing need for people to be trained in how to develop, maintain and use electronic health record information systems," said Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, president, Cuyahoga Community College. "This funding allows us to build on the strengths of not only our local healthcare partners who are ahead of the curve on electronic medical records, but also a strong network of partners across a 10-state region to deliver this training."
"Community colleges will provide training to maximize the use of information technology to meet national goals of improving the quality of health care, reducing medical errors, reducing health disparities, improving public health, increasing prevention and coordination with community resources, and improving the continuity of care among health care settings," Dr. Thornton added. "We welcome this unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with 16 other community colleges."
The initiative will create health information technology training programs that students will complete in six months or less. Coursework will be offered at the collaborating colleges, as well as online and through employer partnerships and other outreach to ensure that potential students have access to the training across the 10-state region. The Tri-C Community College Consortium hopes to train 5,400 individuals throughout the Midwest over a two-year period, beginning this fall.
As lead institution on the grant, Tri-C will potentially receive $2.5 million, while the other community colleges will each receive a sub-award, ranging from $290,000 to $1.5 million based on the numbers of students they will be training. Cuyahoga Community College's partners on the initiative are: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; Columbus State Community College; Delta College; Des Moines Area Community College; Johnson County Community College; Kirkwood Community College; Lansing Community College; Macomb Community College; Madison Area Technical College; Metropolitan Community College; Milwaukee Area Technical College; Moraine Valley Community College; Normandale Community College; Sinclair Community College; St. Louis Community College; and Wayne County Community College.
SOURCE Cuyahoga Community College