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Funding Opportunity to Strengthen The Public Health Information and Technology Workforce

Posted by on June 23rd, 2021 Posted in: Blog

This funding may be an opportunity to collaborate with academic institutions and provide much needed expertise in public health informatics curriculum development…

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announces the establishment of a Public Health Informatics & Technology Workforce Development Program (PHIT Workforce Program).  The PHIT Workforce program will strengthen U.S. public health informatics and data science*ONC is inviting college and universities to apply for funding through a consortium that will develop the curriculum, recruit and train participants, secure paid internship opportunities, and assist in career placement at public health agencies, public health-focused non-profits or public health-focused private sector or clinical settings.

The goal of the Public health Informatics & Technology (PHIT) Workforce Development Program is to train at least 4,000 individuals in public health informatics and technology and ensure programs are sustainable to create a continuous pipeline of diverse public health informatics and technology professionals. This program would develop new curricula on public health informatics to expand upon ONC’s existing health IT curriculum.  Local and state public health departments, community based organizations can provide  “on the ground” experience dealing with the most pressing and critical challenges in public health informatics and technology.  ONC anticipates awarding $75 million to train individuals to help modernize the nation’s public health data infrastructure, with a focus on recruiting participants from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and
Universities (TCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) and other Minority serving institutions (MSIs).

Through a four year cooperative agreement, recipients of PHIT Workforce Development Program funding will form a consortium to:

  • Develop the program curriculum
  • Recruit and train participants
  • Develop internship opportunities
  • Assist in career placement at public health agencies, public health-focused non-profits or public health-focused private sector or clinical settings

ONC will fund up to thirty (30) cooperative agreement awards for a four (4)-year period of performance. The program will be funded at $75,000,000 with funding contingent upon completion of milestones, and a ‘best interest’ determination .

The full Notice of Funding Opportunity, or NOFO, is available in PDF.

The PHIT Workforce Development Program responds to documented needs for creating and sustaining a diverse public health workforce so that the nation can better respond to future public health and biological threats.  Significant investments are needed urgently and immediately to repair the underfunded public health infrastructure in the United States, further eroded by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The availability of a skilled workforce is critical to facilitate the implementation and support of a modernized public health infrastructure. This skilled workforce is also needed to support public health systems and offices at the local, state, and federal levels.

* As taken from the NOFO: According to the Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII), public health informatics is defined as the effective use of information and information technology to improve population health outcomes.

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NNLM Public Health Coordination Office University of Massachusetts Medical School 55 Lake Avenue North Worcester, MA 01655 (508) 856-7633
This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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