June 29, 2010

New England Tech to Receive Nearly $3 Million in Federal Funding for Health Information Technology

Washington, DC – The Rhode Island congressional delegation today announced that the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, RI will receive a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for a workforce training program that will enhance the state’s effort to implement electronic health records. The funds, part of U.S. DOL’s Community-Based Job Training Grant Program, will help develop a 36-month electronic medical records training program aimed at upgrading the technical skills and wage level of medical employees in Rhode Island. In addition, the program will provide much needed new entry level job opportunities for the state’s unemployed residents.

“I am pleased that New England Tech has won this competitive grant to prepare healthcare workers for advances in health information technology systems. This is a smart investment that will provide patients with better quality health care in a more efficient, effective manner,” said Senator Jack Reed. “Senator Whitehouse has been a leader on this issue at both the state and national level and he deserves credit for helping to make this funding available and improve our health system.”

“Rhode Island has long been a leader in electronic medical records, and this federal grant will help us continue to lead in this emerging field,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who, as the state’s attorney general in 2001, helped found the Rhode Island Quality Institute. “This grant brings our leadership together with jobs for our state’s struggling economy, to help re-train our workforce for these much-needed new job opportunities.”

“As Rhode Island continues to move toward economic recovery, ensuring that workers have the skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow is just as important as creating the jobs themselves,” said Congressman Patrick Kennedy. “This funding to train and prepare workers for employment in health information technology meets the state’s needs to improve the efficiency of our health care system as access is expanded, and develop high-skilled workers to fill these jobs as they are created.”

“Closing the skills gap among our residents is key to moving our state’s economy forward,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “The health care sector in Rhode Island represents a great opportunity for job growth, and this funding will help train our workforce of tomorrow.”

The New England Institute of Technology will use this funding to develop a customized job training program aimed at helping medical professionals, such as certified nursing assistants and medical receptionists, develop the skills they need to work with new forms of health information technology. 180 workers are expected to be trained through this program.

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