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HHS, Labor agree to help train rural health IT workforce

February 22, 2012

The departments of Health and Human Services and Labor have signed a memorandum of understanding to support community and technical colleges in training health information technology professionals who work at rural hospitals and clinics, the White House announced yesterday. "Health information technology has the potential to improve the quality, access and efficiency of health care delivery, especially in our nation's rural areas," said Mary Wakefield, administrator of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration. "To achieve this aim, it is essential that we have a skilled health IT workforce. This memorandum of understanding with our colleagues at the Department of Labor will build on existing collaborations to help ease the challenges of geographic isolation and staff shortages faced by rural communities and help move us toward our mutual goal of Health IT workforce development." The agreement was one of several steps the administration announced in an effort to strengthen the economy and create jobs.