David Blumenthal, head of HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, announced that HHS will make available $70 million in grants to community colleges to address an estimated shortfall of 50,000 workers needed in health IT. The grants will go to five consortia comprising 70 community colleges nationwide. They are expected to create six-month, nondegree programs to train 10,000 workers a year to help set up and maintain electronic health-record systems subsidized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An additional $10 million will be earmarked to develop training materials for these workers, Blumenthal said. Details of the programs will be released soon in an official notice and call for grant applications. According to Charles Friedman, the ONC’s deputy national coordinator, the grants could, at the colleges’ discretion, include funding for scholarships for students. “The programs will be designed to be implemented as quickly as possible,” Friedman said at a news briefing. “The need is quite profound.”
Late News: ONC announces grants to set up EHRs, train workers
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