REC & HIT Education Grants Announced

HHS Let's Grants Fly

HHS Lets Grants Fly

HHS has awarded nearly $1 billion in Recovery Act monies to help providers adopt HIT and train workers to implement and manage EMR systems. Of the over $750 million, $386 million will go to 40 states and qualified State Designated Entities (SDEs) to facilitate HIEs at the state level, while $375 million will go to an initial 32 non-profit organizations to support the development of regional extension centers (RECs) — with additional HIE and REC awards to be announced “in the near future.”

RECs are expected to provide outreach and support services to at least 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years.

The more than $225 million in DOL grant awards will be used to train 15,000 people. The grants will fund 55 separate training programs in 30 states. Employment services will be available via the Department of Labor’s local One Stop Career Centers, and training will be offered at community colleges and other local education providers.

The HHS and DOL awards are part of an overall $100 billion investment in science, innovation and technology to spur domestic job creation. The health IT extension centers are expected to hire over 3,000 technology workers nationwide in the months ahead.

A complete listing of the state HIE, REC and job training grant recipients is as follows:

State HIE Awards:

State HIE Awardee

Award Amount

Alabama Medicaid Agency


Arizona Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery


Arkansas Dept of Finance and Administration


California Health and Human Services Agency


Colorado Regional Health Information Organization


Delaware Health Information Network


Government of the District of Columbia


Georgia Department of Community Health


Office of the Governor (Guam)


The Hawaii Health Information Exchange


Illinois Department of Health care and Family Services


Kansas Health Information Exchange Project


Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Kentucky)


State of Maine/Governor’s Office of Health Policy & Finance


Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation


Michigan Department of Health


Minnesota Department of Health


Missouri Depart of Social Services


Nevada Department of Health and Human Services


New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services


Lovelace Clinic Foundation, New Mexico


New York eHealth Collaborative Inc.


Commonwealth of the NMI, Department of Public Health


North Carolina Department of State Treasurer


Ohio Health Information Partnership LLC


Oklahoma Health Care Authority


Pacific Ecommerce Development Corporation (American Samoa)


State of Oregon


Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


Oticina del Gobernador La Fortaeza (Puerto Rico)


Rhode Island Quality Institute


State of Tennessee


Utah Department of Health


Vermont Department of Human Services


Virgin Islands Department of Health


Virginia Department of Health


Health Care Authority (Washington)


West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources


Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services


Office of the Governor (Wyoming)


Total Award Amount


Regional Extension Center Awards:

RECs Awardee

Award Amount

Altarum Institute, Michigan


Arkansas Foundation For Medical Care


CIMRO of Nebraska


Colorado RHIO


District of Columbia Primary Care Association


Fund for Public Health New York


Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge (Ohio-Kentucky)


Health Choice Network, Inc.,Florida


HealthInsight, Utah-Nevada




Kansas Foundation for Medical Care Inc.


Key Health Alliance (Stratis Health), Minnesota – North Dakota


Lovelace Clinic, New Mexico


Massachusetts Technology Park Cooperation


MetaStar, Inc, Wisconsin


Morehouse School of Medicine, Inc., Georgia


New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC)


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Northern California Regional Extension Center


Northern Illinois University


Northwestern University


OCHIN Inc. (Primary), Oregon


Ohio Health Information Partnership


Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, Inc.


Purdue University


Qsource (Tennessee)


Qualis Health, Washington – Idaho


Rhode Island Quality Institute


Southern California Regional Extension Center


Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc.


VHQC and the Center for Innovative Technology, for The Virginia Consortium


West Virginia Health Improvement Institute Inc.


Total Award Amount


Job Training Awards:

Healthcare / High Growth Grant Recipient

Award Amount

Calhoun Community College


Mid-South Community College


South Arkansas Community College


Kern Community College District (KCCD)


Los Rios Community College District


Mt. San Antonio Community College District


San Diego State University Research Foundation


San Jose State University Research Foundation


San Bernardino Community College District


Youth Policy Institute


Spanish Speaking Unity Council


Otero Junior College


National Council of La Raza


Providence Health Foundation of Providence Hospital


DeKalb Technical College (DTC)


Governors State University


Indianapolis Private Industry Council, Inc.


Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana


Iowa Workforce Development


Maysville Community and Technical College


Louisiana Technical College, Greater Acadiana Region 4


Southern University at Shreveport


Maine Department of Labor


The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)


Macomb Community College


American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center


Northland Community and Technical College


MN State Colleges & Universities DBA Pine Technical College


South Central College


The Montgomery Institute


Full Employment Council


Crowder College


Maryville University – St. Louis


University of New Hampshire


Passaic County Community College


Fulton Montgomery Community College (FMCC)


Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC)


University Behavioral Associates, Inc.


Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties


Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving E. Neb and SW Iowa


Nevada Cancer Institute


Berea Children’s Home




Cincinnati State Technical and Community College


Columbus State Community College


Enterprise for Employment and Education


Trident Technical College


Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC)


The University of South Dakota


Centerstone of Tennessee, Inc.


North Central Texas College


San Jacinto Community College District


The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)


Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (SVWIB)


Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board





Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our latest updates delivered straight to your inbox.


  1. Great summary Anthony. Each time I think there are no surprises left, out comes another, and for some reason the those surprising me think that the best surprises require three commas and nine zeros.

    The thing that no longer surprises me is that their largesse always seems to come without a plan, standards, guidance, or accountability.

    Providers have little if any assurance that their EHR efforts will be met with any success. Why? Because their individual attempts at implementing EHR are being undertaken by the unique framework developed by each provider.

    There is no defined target, no concrete way to know if in fact their efforts will hit the target. Where do we lack clarity?Certification. Meaningful Use. Standards. HIEs. N-HIN.

    Is there a unified detailed plan describing what the RECS are to do and how they are to do it, or is each REC expected to develop their own plan to add value? If it is up to them, does that bring the leadership and clarity that is needed, or does it further confuse the situation.

    For the RECs to add value, it seems that at a minimum there should be:

    * an articulated definition of the areas where the providers need help
    * a list of the skills the RECs need to deliver the services
    * a list of the tasks the RECs need to deliver the services

    In an industry whose subject matter expertise is fifty percent below what is needed, from where will the resources come?

    What else could be done with a billion dollars? How about paying however many EHR vendors comprise 90% of the market to agree to a set of standards, refit their applications to those standards, and convert their installed base. Wouldn’t that do a lot more towards making interoperability viable?

  2. Gerry Higgins says:

    It is of great interest to see who is receiving the awards – thank-you Anthony. I agree with much of what Paul Roemer has said, except for his last suggestion. Paying EHR vendors would only accelerate the acquisition of the many players in this marketplace by large IT companies like IBM, HP, Google, etc, IMHO.

    I see a problem in not providing funding for any HIT initiatives that are addressing the education of physicians, and especially the looming challenges associated with the revolution in genomics and pharmacogenomics directly related to clinical care.

    This seems like funding for job creation without first defining where the education is most critically needed.

    It is also of interest to see that many of the RECs have significant lobbying representation here on Capital Hill.

  3. $225 million in Training Grants: Will We Get Our Money’s Worth?

    A comment on the last set of awards: the Healthcare High Growth grants. The overarching goal of ARRA was to stimulate the economy and to help create jobs, but a quick review of the grant recipients and their websites raises questions in my mind as to the efficacy of this strategy, at least in this instance.

    If we are to meet the goals of HITECH and the Obama administration’s HIT adoption objectives, tens of thousands of physician practices, thousands of hospitals, thousands of other healthcare service providers, hundreds of health information exchanges and dozens of vendor companies will need tens of thousands of additional staff. Even before ARRA, the shortage of skilled personnel was acute and will only grow more acute if the level of HIT implementation activity increases, as expected, over the next several years.

    To meet this need, the industry will demand that successful candidates possess not just IT skills, but also at least fundamental – sometimes even advanced — knowledge of clinical practice, terminology and workflows. So the key question is whether the jobs that need to be filled can be filled with those these programs are likely to produce.

    Frankly, I doubt it. We need thousands of systems analysts, business analysts, system architects and implementation specialists with clinical and technical knowledge; we need thousands of physicians and nurses to augment their efforts and work with the physicians, nurses and other clinicians whose participation and commitment to these goals is essential for this journey to be successful. Where will these resources come from, the local community college? Unlikely.

  4. Marc, your comments are spot on! Bill Hersh shred these same concerns and I think we are on the edge of a cliff with workforce development. On the bright side, maybe I will be able to hang onto my job in a tough economy :-)

Share Your Thoughts

To register, click here.