HHS will invest $80 million in a new training program that aims to bolster public health data gathering and build a diverse workforce, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology invited colleges and universities that predominantly educate people of color to apply for funding. Those institutions will help develop the curriculum, recruit and train participants, secure paid internships and place graduates in public health agencies, not-for-profits and privately owned companies.
"The limited number of public health professionals trained in informatics and technology was one of the key challenges the nation experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic," Micky Tripathi, national coordinator for health information technology, said in prepared remarks. "This new funding will help to address that need by supporting the efforts of minority serving institutions and other colleges and universities across the nation to educate and launch individuals into public health careers."
The Public Health Informatics & Technology Workforce Development Program looks to train more than 4,000 people over a four-year period. ONC will award up to $75 million to the recipients and use the rest for administrative costs. The goal is to create a continuous pipeline of diverse public health technology professionals, authorities said.