Ohio funds expansion of health IT initiative to teach data science to young students

Community Classroom, part of BioEnterprise’s Health IT in the CLE program, works to build the healthcare workforce by giving high school students computer and data science instruction.
By Mike Miliard
01:25 PM
Ohio funds expansion of health IT initiative to teach data science to young students

BioEnterprise, a collaborative of health IT, medical device and pharma companies working to expand the healthcare industry in Northeast Ohio, has announced new funding in the state's budget to expand its HIT in the CLE talent initiative.

Specifically, the new money will enable new programs for its Community Classroom project, which gives after-school computer programming and data science instruction to students across the Cleveland Metropolitan School District who don't have access to coursework in those fields.

The program was first piloted by HIT in CLE for one day each week this past year. With the new state funding, its classes will be held daily during the 2019-20 for Cleveland area students at the city's Global Center for Health Innovation.

That extra data science education, with a curriculum developed by Cleveland-based Hyland Software and hardware provided by the Cleveland Foundation, could be a big boost for future members of the healthcare information and technology workforce.

"This allocation of new funds for the HIT in the CLE Community Classroom will allow us to make an even greater impact on the lives of Cleveland students by providing them with access to computer and data science instruction they would not otherwise have," says Grady Burrows, BioEnterprise’s Director of Health IT Talent and leader of the HIT in the CLE initiative.

"Not only does it expose students to new potential career paths," he added, "but it also helps fuel the pipeline of diverse IT talent that is critically needed by Northeast Ohio’s tech companies."

BioEnterprise points out that relevant secondary computer science instruction is significantly lacking across Northeast Ohio – with just half of schools offering the type of classes that will help students be successful after leaving high school.

"What we hear from Northeast Ohio health IT firms is that access to talent is one of the most important elements of their growth plans," said BioEnterprise’s president and CEO Aram Nerpouni, BioEnterprise’s president and CEO. "The HIT in the CLE initiative helps to build and diversify the future workforce and keep tech talent here in Northeast Ohio."

In fact, there’s nearly double the demand for computer and IT workers than there are job candidates with the necessary credentials. Software developers and data scientists are among the most in-demand job categories in Northeast Ohio.

"The Community Classroom was a game changer for my students that participated this past year," says Damon Holmes, principal of Cleveland-based Ginn Academy, in a statement. "I was able to get my students exposure and education in skills that are highly valued in our 21st century economy. Their participation in the Community Classroom and the HIT in the CLE Data Science Competition has helped to expose them to a world of opportunities that was completely foreign to them before."

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Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

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