North Florida Community College has been awarded a three-year, $737,189 Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) Workforce Program grant in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services. The grant is one of 15 new Rural HIT Workforce grants awarded in 2013. The overall goal is to develop Health Information Technology (HIT) training programs that will produce a pool of qualified and certified workers to help rural hospitals and clinics transition records from a paper system to a digital format. The HIT Workforce Program was developed in part in response to local need identified through the North Florida Rural Healthcare Workforce Development Network and the North Florida Workforce Development Board.
The North Florida Rural Healthcare Workforce Development Network Board represents NFCC’s six-county service district and beyond. Members include Walter Boatright (Suwannee/Hamilton County); Susan Allen (Hamilton County); Scott Frederick (Taylor County); Mollie Hill (Leon County); Deidra Newman (Taylor/Suwannee County/Advent Christian Village); Sheryl Reyberg (CareerSource North Florida/Six-County District); Elizabeth Schlein (Leon, Madison, Gadsden, Jefferson, Taylor, Franklin, Wakulla and Liberty Counties); Julie Townsend (NFCC/Madison County); and Richard Wisdahl (Lafayette County).
"This grant enables NFCC along with the North Florida Rural Healthcare Workforce Development Network to provide training that is responsive to the current and future HIT workforce needs of our service area," said Julie Townsend, NFCC Director of Allied Health. “NFCC’s HIT specialist training will be geared for people already working in healthcare or information technology who need to upgrade their technology skills to successfully transition to the future paradigm of medical services delivery. These trained HIT personnel will be critical to medical providers now and in the future.”
North Florida Community College will utilize funding to develop a six-month, non-credit online HIT specialist training program, to hire personnel to implement the program and will offer scholarships for students who successfully complete the courses and pass the national exam (ONC HIT Professional Competency exam). The Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) Workforce Program is focused on training students from our rural areas, providing them apprenticeship opportunities at our rural facilities, and ultimately coordinating with local employment resources to assist with job placement, when necessary, back into our rural communities.
For more information, contact Dani Mays, NFCC Career and Technical Education Center, at (850) 973-1665 or firstname.lastname@example.org.