Final communities get Beacon award for health IT

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 20, 2010

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Cincinnati and Detroit will be the final two pilot communities of a multimillion-dollar health information technology program, the Dept. of Health and Human Services announced Sept. 2.

Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge will receive $13.8 million over three years, and Southeastern Michigan Health Assn. will receive $16.2 million over three years. They join 15 other projects previously selected for the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program.

The 2009 economic stimulus package provides $265 million for the program. The 17 communities will be led by new or existing nonprofit or government entities that serve specific geographic regions, both rural and urban, including underserved areas. Officials estimate the program will create dozens of jobs and accelerate the development of a nationwide health IT infrastructure. The program uses IT tools to link physicians and hospitals with community-wide resources.

"Under the Beacon program, communities first identify leading health problems that are unique to their community, develop innovative, health-related IT strategies, and work together through community collaborations to implement their strategies and track their performance," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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