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NC Department of Health and Human Services
Health IT

Community College Consortia to Educate HIT Professionals Program/Curriculum Development Centers Program

HIT Training


Community College Consortia to Educate HIT Professionals Program

The ONC released a funding opportunity for $80 million to build the capacity of training programs nationwide. A collaboration of educational institutions led by the NC Community Colleges System, NC Area Health Education, and the Governor’s Office have begun meeting to develop an application for NC workforce development. NC is being grouped with other southern states to submit one regional application.

Pitt Community College applied to become the lead institution in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Community College Consortia to Educate Information Technology Professionals in Health Care for the 13 state region comprised of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee and Texas and as a partner with several other organizations applying for the lead capacity for this same funding opportunity. In addition, Pitt Community College has applied in separate partnerships with Duke University and East Carolina University for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Information Technology Professionals in Health Care Curriculum Development Centers funding opportunity.

In March 2010, Pitt Community College was named one of five institutions across the country to lead a regional consortium of community colleges to train thousands of new health information technology (health IT) professionals. The PCC led consortium received a $10.9 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the first year. Additional funding, to bring the total award to over $21.1 million is available for a second year after successful completion of a mid-project evaluation.

The grant provides assistance for PCC to set up the consortium of 21 community colleges, including Central Piedmont Community College and Catawba Valley Community College, across a 13-state region that stretches through the southeast to New Mexico and includes almost one-third of the nation's population. Each community college will create non-degree training programs designed to be completed in six months or less.

Health Information Technology professionals, among other capabilities, support the implementation and maintenance of EHRs that make information exchanges possible between health care providers and public health authorities and thereby improve the quality and efficiency of medical care. Training is expected to begin by Sept. 30 in six health/IT priority workforce roles, including: practice workflow and information management redesign specialists; clinician/practitioner consultants; implementation support specialists; implementation managers; and technical/software support staff and trainers.

Duke University was also awarded federal funding as part of the Health Information Technology program to develop part of the curriculum for this funding to be used across the country. Pitt Community College, Rowan Cabarrus Community College and Durham Technical Community College are partners with Duke in some of these efforts.

Curriculum Development Centers Program

Duke University’s Center for Health Informatics (DCHI) has awarded nearly $4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to advance the widespread adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (HIT) by expanding the workforce in this field.

Funding is provided through two competitive awards. These two awards, one a grant and the other a cooperative agreement, are part of The Workforce Development Program to train a workforce to support the broad adoption and use of health IT in the provider community.

One grant is for the development of curriculum materials to be used by community colleges throughout the United States. Duke will work with Durham Technical Community College, Pitt Community College, and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to develop four curriculum components:

  • Health Management Information Systems
  • Installation and Maintenance of Health IT Systems
  • Networking and Health Information Exchange
  • Fundamentals of Health Workflow Process Analysis and Redesign

Curriculum development grants were also awarded to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and Oregon Health & Science University. Together material for 20 curriculum components will be developed to be used by community colleges to teach students in a six-month certificate program. Success in the Workforce Development Program will be measured by the take-up of these students into the HIT workforce. It is estimated that 50,000 professionals are needed to support the presidential mandate to achieve national ERH adoption by 2014.

The second award is for the University-Based Training (UBT) Program. This program will produce trained professionals for vital, highly specialized health IT roles. Trainees in this program will complete intensive courses in 12 months or less and receive a Management Masters in Clinical Informatics, awarded by the Duke Fuqua School of Business, or a post-masters certificate awarded by the Duke School of Nursing. Plans are underway to offer a broader certificate program. Other trainees supported by these grants will receive master’s degrees requiring up to two years, and the completion of a thesis or equivalent research project on a health IT topic.

Dr. Ed Hammond, Director of Duke’s Center for Health Informatics (DCHI), is the principal investigator for both of these training grants, and Meredith Nahm, PhD, associate director of the DCHI, is the program director for both of the grants.

The UBT award is shared with the University of North Carolina. The focus of the training at UNC is in the Department of Public Health and the Department of Information and Library Science. Together, Duke and UNC will train 83 one-year students and 9 two-year students. Students will be able to enroll in the new programs immediately for the fall semester.

Contact Information

Dr. Ed Hammond Ready NC Connect NC