HHS grants $267 million for more regional extension centers, thousands of jobs

By Diana Manos
02:30 PM

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday awards for more than $267 million to 28 non-profit organizations to establish Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers.

The grants from the $2 billion allotted for healthcare IT under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and follows 32 HHS for grants issued last February for regional extension centers (RECs).

HHS intends for the grants to help grow the emerging health information technology industry and to support tens of thousands of jobs including nursing, pharmacy technicians,  IT technicians and trainers, said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"Healthcare in our country is community-based," she said. "Today's awards represent our ongoing commitment to make sure that health providers have the necessary support within their communities to maximize the use of health IT to improve the care they provide to their patients."

With this round of awards, HHS has funded a total of 60 RECs, expected to support some 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years. All REC awardees will have an opportunity to apply for a two-year expansion supplemental award,  Sebelius said.

The supplemental awards would ensure that health IT support services are available to more than 2,000 of the nation's critical access hospitals and rural hospitals, both defined as having 50 beds or less, according to Sebelius.

Approximately $25 million will be available through the supplemental expansion program, she said.

David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said, "RECs are a vital part of our overall efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare through the effective use of health IT."

 The full list of grantees follows on the next page...


Grantees in the second series of awards (announced April 6, 2010) Federal Share

Alaska eHealth Network, Anchorage, AK


University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL


Arizona Health-e Connection, Phoenix, AZ


Local Initiative Health Authority for Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA


eHealthConnecticut, Inc., Rocky Hill, CT


National Indian Health Board, Washington, DC


Quality Insights of Delaware, Inc., Wilmington, DE


University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL


Community Health Centers Alliance, Inc, St. Petersburg, FL


University of South Florida, Tampa, FL


Hawaii Health Information Exchange, Honolulu, HI


University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, KY


Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, Baton Rouge, LA


HealthInfoNet, Manchester, ME


Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients, Baltimore, MD


eQHealth Solutions, Inc , Baton Rouge, LA


The Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO


Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation, Helena, MT


New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ


Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, Inc. (Eastern), King of Prussia, PA


Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, Inc. (Western), King of Prussia, PA


Ponce School of Medicine, PR


South Carolina Research Foundation, Columbia, SC


Dakota State University, Madison, SD


The TAMUS Health Science Center Research Foundation. College Station, TX


University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX


Dallas- Fort Worth Hospital Council Education and Research Foundation, Irving, TX


Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Lubbock, TX