Saturday, April 10, 2010

ONC Grant Provides Financial Aid for Clinical Informatics Education

My last posting noted that Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) was awarded two grants totaling $5.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to advance health information technology (HIT) education. In this entry, I will begin to describe the details, especially for those who might be eligible for this funding. This posting contains the initial text of what will be a continually updated page for those interested in the program.

One of the grants is for direct financial aid for students studying in HIT-related fields. In the case of OHSU, this funding will support the education of approximately 150 students over the next three years in OHSU's Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program. These funds will support tuition and fees for about 45 new students per year to enroll in and complete the university's online Graduate Certificate Program in Biomedical Informatics. The funding will also enable two cohorts of around students to enroll in OHSU's on-campus Master of Biomedical Informatics (MBI) Program, including a stipend and student health insurance. This funding is provided via a training grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

There are some restrictions on this funding beyond the usual program requirements:
  1. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  2. Students must not have been enrolled in the OHSU or any other informatics or health information technology educational program on or before December 17, 2009 (i.e., current students are not eligible). This restriction does not apply to students who have completed only the OHSU-AMIA 10x10 Program.
  3. Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate Program must complete the program within one academic year.
  4. Students pursuing the Master of Biomedical Informatics (MBI) Program must enroll as full-time on-campus students to receive the stipend and student health insurance.
  5. Students must declare one of six job roles defined by ONC and follow a course of study commensurate with that role.
Students who are not eligible or who are interested in other areas of biomedical informatics (such as bioinformatics) should apply to the existing program.

Details of the admissions process are being finalized and applications will be available in mid-May for Fall 2010 admission. Please check this page frequently for more details. By mid-April, this page will include a sign-up form for students who wish to receive email updates on the status of the program.

ONC Program Details

OHSU's eight-course Graduate Certificate Program is entirely online and can be completed in two to four academic quarters. Students who are funded through this program will receive support for their tuition expenses and must complete its requirements within one year. (The Health Information Management Track of the Graduate Certificate Program requires additional courses which will be fully funded under this program.)

The Master of Biomedical Informatics (MBI) degree program requires about 1 1/2 years of full-time study. The funding provides MBI students with tuition support, a stipend and student health insurance.

Students receiving financial aid will be required to choose among six career paths defined by ONC:
  • Clinician/public health leader
  • Health information management and exchange specialist
  • Health information privacy and security specialist
  • Research and development scientist
  • Programmers and software engineer
  • Health IT sub-specialist
Students will be able to enroll in the new programs Fall 2010. More information about applying, degree requirements and financial aid will be available on this page in mid-May, 2010.

More About Our Program

OHSU offers a full range of graduate programs in biomedical informatics for cutting-edge and rewarding careers using information and associated technologies to advance individual health, healthcare, biomedical research, and public health. There are two main tracks in the program: clinical informatics and bioinformatics/computational biology. The clinical informatics track, with the exception of the PhD program, is available via distance learning. Other forms of financial aid, such as our National Library of Medicine Training Grant, are available for full-time on-campus PhD or postdoctoral master's students in both tracks.

1 comment:

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