Last week, HHS announced a total of $144 million in grants to support health IT research and work force development, Healthcare IT News reports.
Funding for the awards comes from the 2009 federal economic stimulus package (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 4/5).
$60M in SHARP Awards
The awards include $60 million in research grants that will go to four institutions as part of the stimulus package's Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects program, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 4/2).
Each institution will receive a $15 million grant to develop short-term and long-term solutions to key challenges facing the health IT field (Healthcare IT News, 4/5).
The grants will go to:
Harvard University for work on new health care applications and network-platform architectures;
Mayo Clinic of Medicine for work on promoting secondary uses of electronic health record data;
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for work on health IT security; and
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for work on patient-centered cognitive support systems for health care providers (Mosquera , Government Health IT, 4/2).
$84M for Health IT Professional Training
The awards also include $84 million in grants to 16 universities and community colleges to support training and development for more than 50,000 new health IT professionals.
Officials will distribute the work force development grants in four program areas:
The Community College Consortia Program, which will allocate $36 million to help five institutions establish regional consortia of community colleges and support the establishment of non-degree training programs in health IT;
The University-Based Training Programs, which will receive $32 million to establish intensive courses of study for specialized health IT professions;
The Curriculum Development Center, which will receive $10 million to develop educational materials that will be used by the Community College Consortia program; and
The Competency Examination Program, which will receive $6 million to support the creation and administration of health IT competency examinations (Healthcare IT News, 4/5).
A full list of the grant recipients under each program area is available from the HHS release.
ONC Grants $25M for Regional Extension Centers
In related news, ONC recently announced that it has set aside $25 million for regional extension centers to help rural health care providers implement health IT systems, Government Health IT reports.
The extension centers will be eligible to receive $12,000 for each critical access or rural hospital that they provide with technical assistance.
In February, ONC awarded $375 million in grants to create 32 regional extension centers. Officials plan to award another set of grants in June to establish a total of 70 centers (Mosquera , Government Health IT, 4/2).