Numerous grants funded by the U.S. economic stimulus program (ARRA) Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, to advance the use of health information technology (HIT) and to ready a professional informatics work force, have been awarded to leading members of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), a growing professional society that for the last two decades has advocated for informatics as a health care specialty. AMIA members are healthcare professionals with expertise in managing digital health information to optimize use of knowledge and data that underpins clinical care, biomedical research, post-graduate education, and public policy.
Award recipients (See Table 1) include pioneering members who are on the AMIA Board of Directors, who provide online educational coursework in informatics, and who publish in AMIA's peer-reviewed journal, JAMIA. The workforce awards support curriculum development and training of a new generation of informatics specialists; SHARP awards are aimed at research programs that will address problems that have impeded the adoption of health IT, and especially electronic health records, while supporting a high-performing continuously-learning healthcare system.
"AMIA members are excellent stewards of grant funds intended to 'grow' the informatics work force," states Nancy Lorenzi, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University, and Chair of the AMIA Board of Directors. "Oversight of informatics training and curriculum programs by AMIA members ensures that future health and biomedical informatics specialists will learn how to work in inter-professional teams, deliver patient-centered care, use evidence-based practices, and improve quality of care." More detail about the HITECH awards is online at http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=1310&mode=2&cached=true