Grants Encourage Public Health IT

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 12-20-2005
Twenty-one grants of up to $100,000 were recently awarded to state and local health departments and public health institutes for 12-month projects by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

The grants are to support the participation of state and local public health agencies in health information exchanges. The grantee sites will work with health care providers to improve the use of regional data sharing networks or health information exchanges.

"Information systems can play a vital role in improving the health of our communities by helping to pinpoint disease outbreaks, track chronic disease in communities, and improve communication between health care providers and health departments," said Stephen Downs, RWJF senior program officer.

Developments in health information technology and the emergence of health information exchanges create tremendous opportunities for public health agencies to share information with health care providers. Ready access to patient data and improvements to the timeliness and accuracy of data can lead to better data reporting processes; stronger emergency preparation and response; and more effective monitoring of community health issues, such as cancer, heart disease, tobacco use and flu outbreaks.

Recent grantees include: City of Austin Health and Human Services Department, Austin, TX; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Health, San Juan, PR; County of Ingham Health Department, Lansing, MI; County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency, Santa Cruz, CA; Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Denver, CO; Hamilton County General Health District, Cincinnati, OH; Imperial County Public Health Department, El Centro, CA; Louisiana Public Health Institute, Baton Rouge, LA; Maine Center for Public Health, Augusta, ME; Mendocino County Department of Health, Ukiah, CA; Mesa County Health Department, Grand Junction, CO; New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY; State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO; State of Indiana Department of Health, Indianapolis, IN; State of Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Topeka, KS; State of Minnesota Department of Public Health, Saint Paul, MN; State of Rhode Island Department of Health, Providence, RI; State of Tennessee, Nashville, TN; State of Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, UT; State of Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Madison, WI; and State University of New York at Stony Brook Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook, NY;

Read the full story at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation site