The Office of the National Health Information Technology Coordinator (ONC) of the US Department of Health (HHS) today awarded $ 73 million in collaborative agreements as part of its PHIT Workforce Program. Announced earlier this year and funded by the American Rescue Plan, the program aims to increase public health information technology (IT) efforts in the United States, improve COVID-19 data collection, and represent underrepresented communities within the United States Increase public health IT workforce. ONC will support the overall administration of the program.
“As we work to fight the pandemic, we will not take our foot off the gas as we prepare for future public health challenges,” said Xavier Becerra, Minister of Health and Human Services. “Thanks to the American rescue plan, we can invest today in expanding our country’s public health workforce to better meet the needs of tomorrow. And as we work to nurture talent, be it in technology or public health computing, we will do so with diversity in mind. “
The 10 awardees, consisting of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), other minority serving institutions (MSIs), and other universities, will be multiple consortia form to jointly train more than 4,000 people over a period of four years through an interdisciplinary approach in informatics and public health technology.
The consortia will develop curricula, recruit and train participants, secure paid internship opportunities, and help with job placement with public health authorities, nonprofit nonprofits, or other public health-focused organizations. This program supports the efforts of the Biden Harris Administration to recruit public health workers from the most affected and vulnerable communities and ensure a steady flow of diverse talent across the U.S. health care system to prepare our nation for future public health emergencies.
“We are very excited to get started immediately to build a continuous pipeline of diverse information technology professionals in the public health field,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., National Health Information Technology Coordinator. “It is critical that we quickly identify and train individuals from diverse backgrounds in public health, computing, and data science to build a resilient, sustainable public health workforce.”
Prize winners of the PHIT Workforce Program:
- Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
- California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation, Long Beach, CA
- Dominican College of Blauvelt, Inc., Orangeburg, NY
- Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
- Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia
- Regents of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
- The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
- University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Lowell, MA
- University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
- University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
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