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CCI Faculty Receive Health IT Grant for Collaborative Project with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

January 22, 2016

Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) Research and Teaching Professor Prudence W. Dalrymple, PhD (PI) and Professor Ellen Bass, PhD (co-PI), in collaboration with The John Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Community College of Baltimore County, are among the seven grantees receiving $6.7 million for a two-year cooperative agreement program called “The Workforce Training Program,” developed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The program stems from a recent announcement from the HHS Administration to give 20 awards within three health IT grant programs, namely “Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange,” “The Community Health Peer Learning Program” and “The Workforce Training Program,” totaling about $38 million. The grants build on programs funded from the Health Information Technology and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), as part of the American Recovery and Revitalization Act (ARRA) of 2009. These grants will further HHS’s efforts to improve the way providers are paid, improve and innovate in care delivery, and share information more broadly to providers, consumers and others to support better health care decisions while maintaining privacy.

This collaborative project proposes to create and teach four modules in the areas of population health IT, value-based care, care coordination and new delivery models to train 1,000 health professionals by the second year of the project (see abstract below). Drexel will deliver a “bootcamp” as a face-to-face workshop to 200 students, with advisory oversight from regional community colleges and expertise from across the region. The course will also be mainstreamed in the e-learning systems of health systems, such as The Johns Hopkins Health System. The program will train health care workers to use new health information technologies in a variety of settings, including: team-based care environments, long-term care facilities, patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, hospitals and clinics.

Dalrymple’s research and teaching reflect her interest in user-centered information behaviors, particularly in the health arena. She has practiced as a health sciences information professional in clinical and academic settings, and teaches informatics courses related to health informatics and management and evaluation. Dalrymple received her doctorate in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; a master of library science from Simmons College, and a master of science in health informatics from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and a bachelor of arts (cum laude) in English from Clark University. 

Bass has over 30 years of human-centered systems engineering research and design experience in several domains including healthcare. She received a doctorate in systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master of science degree in advanced technology from State University of New York at Binghamton, and a bachelor of science engineering in bioengineering and a bachelor of science economics in finance from the University of Pennsylvania.


The Mid-Atlantic Health Information Technology (HIT) Workforce Training for Health Care Professionals aims to update curriculum material developed in 2010–2012 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), to create novel courses, and to train 1,000 health professionals on the basis of the material developed. ONC has determined that, besides taking cognizance of the great changes in health IT over the past 5 years (e.g., that adoption is over 80%, if not higher), graduates and prospective students identify population health management as a core area that is not only increasing in importance, but is an area with knowledge and skills that IT can support in unique ways.

To this end, the team including The Johns Hopkins University, Drexel University and Community College of Baltimore County team proposes to create four courses in the areas of population health IT, in value-based care, in care coordination, and in new delivery models. We also propose to update two courses Johns Hopkins developed 5 years ago: Working with HIT, and Quality Improvement.  We will create a “Bootcamp” course that serves as an introduction to health IT and population health management.

Our Delivery group has a regional focus, with Drexel University in Philadelphia delivering the Bootcamp as a face-to-face workshop to 200 students in southern New Jersey, with advisory oversight from regional community colleges and expertise from across the region. In addition, the course will be mainstreamed in the e-learning systems of health systems, such as Johns Hopkins. Finally, an open course will be provided through a massive open online curriculum environment to a number of large integrated delivery networks such as Kaiser Permanente, Health Partners, Mercy Health, Group Health Cooperative and the Veterans Health Administration. Overall, we will train 1,000 health professionals in Year 2 of the project.