ONCHIT has announced two additional grant programs to increase the healthcare IT workforce.
These programs are entitled “Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Program of Assistance for University-Based Training Programs (University-Based Training Program)” and “Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Competency Examination for Individuals (Competency Examination Program).”
The new grant programs will award $32 million to establish university-based certificate and advanced degree health IT training programs and $6 million dollars to develop a health IT competency examination program. They come on the heels of $80 million in workforce program grants already announced — Community College Consortia on Nov. 24 and Curriculum Development Centers on Dec. 15.
For the University-Based Training Program, ONC anticipates issuing approximately eight to 12 one-time funding awards to support academic programs, “that rapidly increase the availability of individuals qualified to serve in specific health IT professional roles requiring university-level training.” The awards will favor programs that can be completed by the trainee in one year or less. Awards are for a 39-month project period. Four-year colleges and universities are eligible to apply, with applications due by Jan. 25. Final awards expected in March.
For the Competency Examination Program, ONC anticipates issuing a single one-time funding award to support, “the development and initial administration of a set of health IT competency examinations,” ONCHIT stated. The examinations will assess basic competency for individuals trained through short-duration, non-degree health IT programs, and for members of the workforce with relevant experience or other types of training who are seeking to demonstrate their competency in certain health IT workforce roles. The award is for a two-year project period. Applications are due by Jan. 25, and the final award is expected in March.
Information about the HITECH grants available through the workforce development program is available at http://HealthIT.HHS.gov/ and www.grants.gov.
For information about other HHS Recovery Act programs, see http://www.hhs.gov/recovery.
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