Costa Announces Funds to Create Jobs, Improve Valley Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $300,000 to the Livingston Community Health Services and the Central Valley Collaborative to train students for high-skill, good-paying jobs in health information technology. This innovative program will help meet the growing need for qualified health information technology technicians in the Valley. The grant is part of a three year program to create a curriculum and implement the training program.

“Increasing the number of qualified medical professionals lays the groundwork for a healthier future in the Valley,” said Rep. Costa. “This training program will ensure that students are career ready for high-demand positions that help save time and money in our health care system. I’m proud that Livingston Community Health is taking the lead in this innovative effort.”

Livingston Community Health’s CEO Leslie McGowan said, “Electronic health records are improving patient care and patient outcomes, but we need a highly skilled workforce to make the most of this important tool. We here at Livingston Community Health are excited to take be an integral part of this effort to produce the Valley’s next generation of medical professionals.”

Between 2010 and 2020, it is projected that there will be 19% job growth in Health Information Technology throughout the state. The program will prepare students for these new positions and will be open to individuals in Merced, Stanislaus, Fresno, Tulare, Kern, Kings, and San Luis Obispo counties.  Livingston Community Health will operate the program in conjunction with the Central Valley Collaborative (CVC).

Central Valley Collaborative Executive Director Ray Parris added, “The competition for skilled workers has challenged our implementation of Health Information Technology (HIT).  This program is an exciting opportunity to develop HIT professionals with roots in our rural communities.”

The program will federally certify graduates for positions as Practice Workflow and Information Management Redesign Specialists, Implementation Support Specialists, and Trainers. Students will be prepared for these roles through a 12 month training program that will include:

  • A sixth month online-curriculum taught with proposed program partner Fresno City College.
  • Hands-on training on Electronic Health Records software provided by Central Valley Collaborative trainers.
  • A five month apprenticeship opportunity where students would get to work in one of 26 eligible rural clinic locations throughout Central California.

Beginning in September 2013 until early 2014, CVC will begin recruiting local health care workers, community college students, veterans, and individuals with information technology, education, and health care experience and ambitions who hope to stay in the area for the training program.