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HHS Awards $73M to 10 Universities Under Public Health IT Workforce Program; Secretary Xavier Becerra Quoted

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Xavier Becerra
Xavier Becerra Secretary HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $73 million in cooperative agreements to 10 higher education and minority-serving institutions through a program that seeks to train over 4,000 individuals in public health informatics and technology areas over a period of four years.

"Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we can invest in growing our nation's public health workforce today to better meet the needs of tomorrow,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra,  a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said in a statement published Wednesday.

In June, the department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced that it received $80 million in funds for the Public Health Informatics and Technology Workforce Development Program through the American Rescue Plan.

The awardees under the PHIT Workforce Program are Bowie State University; California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation; Dominican College of Blauvelt; Jackson State University; Norfolk State University; Regents of the University of Minnesota; University of Texas Health Science Center; University of Massachusetts, Lowell; University of California, Irvine; and University of the District of Columbia.

“And as we work to expand talent, whether it's in the field of technology or public health informatics, we will do so with an eye towards promoting diversity,” added Becerra.

The awardees will establish multiple consortia to recruit and train individuals, develop curricula, provide paid internship opportunities and help individuals secure positions at public health agencies, nonprofits and public health-focused institutions.