UNE creating programs of study in Health Informatics

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The University of New England is addressing the region’s need for health informatics specialists through a pilot initiative to create new models of education with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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I am excited that the University of New England is connecting with industry leaders to make the curriculum relevant to today’s evolving health care sector

The University of New England is addressing the region’s need for health informatics specialists through a pilot initiative to create new models of education with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Health care is changing dramatically with physicians, hospitals and patients expecting decisions to be made on data, evidence and best practices. The challenge is turning the huge number of data points into meaningful information that can be used for improved outcomes. Health informatics professionals review the data sets to find trends and communicate results to guide those making decisions that affect the health of the people in our communities.

UNE President Danielle Ripich met with a group of key advisors that included chief executives and chief information officers from area hospital systems and health care companies to gain their perspective.

Joining her and others from UNE were the following:

  •     Chris Claudio, CEO, Winxnet
  •     Todd Haedrich, vice president, Enrollment and Banking Services, Athena Health
  •     Chuck Hays, CEO, Maine General Health
  •     Ed Kane, vice president, Maine Operations, and Tariq Abu-Jaber, vice president, Healthcare Informatics, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  •     Dan McCormack, CEO, InterMed
  •     David Wennberg, adjunct associate professor, Dartmouth Institute of Medicine; and CEO, Northern New England Accountable Care Collaborative

In addition, Eastern Maine Healthcare is participating in the project design.

Danielle Ripich noted, “UNE has moved quickly to assess our current programs and design new offerings that will address the workforce shortage in health informatics and analytics identified by employers in the region.”

With the impetus of the Gates Foundation, the new educational program will be competency-based, meaning that learning can occur in the workplace, through technology and at a personalized rate.

“It is a whole new way of creating learning opportunities for students and employees, and I am excited that the University of New England is connecting with industry leaders to make the curriculum relevant to today’s evolving health care sector,” commented Dan McCormack.

Portland Mayor Michael Brennan was encouraged by these initiatives, stating “UNE’s innovative approaches to education in response to the needs of employers that want to create new jobs and expand are exactly what the Growing Portland Collaborative is all about. Maine is fortunate to have such a dynamic private institution as part of its higher education portfolio.”

About the University of New England
The University of New England (UNE) is an innovative health sciences university grounded in the liberal arts. It has two distinctive coastal Maine campuses and a campus in Tangier, Morocco. With internationally recognized scholars in the sciences, health, medicine and the humanities, UNE offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs, and is home to Maine’s only medical and dental schools. It is one of a select group of private universities with a comprehensive health education mission that includes medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine, nursing and an array of allied health professions. Visit http://www.une.edu.

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Nate Towne
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