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NJ DOH Commissioner Mary O'Dowd Applauds NJIT and NJ-HITEC on Encouraging Students to Get "Health IT" Connected

New Jersey's Department of Health Commissioner, Mary E. O'Dowd, looks on as an NJIT student inputs her medical information to create her electronic Personal Health Record (PHR) as part of the 7th Annual National Health IT Week celebration.

The New Jersey Health Information Technology Extension Center (NJ-HITEC) and NJIT successfully partnered to bring Health Information Technology (IT) to students by assisting them in creating individual electronic Personal Health Records (PHRs).  At NJIT’s Campus Atrium in Newark, over 500 students kicked off “Health IT Connected,” entering their medical information through Medicat, the electronic health record system selected by NJIT. 

NJ Department of Health Commissioner, Mary E. O’Dowd, who attended the event, expressed her appreciation of NJ-HITEC and NJIT in taking the lead in delivering Health IT. “According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Health IT is one of the 20 fastest growing occupations nationally.  The U.S. DOL projects employment growth in this area to continue to increase by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020. NJIT is on the forefront of Health IT.  Not only has NJIT received a $23 million grant from the federal government to establish NJ-HITEC, but NJIT has a mission embedded in its DNA which is “digital everywhere” to integrate technology into every aspect of an individual’s life.”

NJ-HITEC Executive Director, Bill O’Byrne, explains, “We have been working on the state health information infrastructure for the last 15 years and it’s finally starting to develop into something you can put your finger on and see demonstrable results.  It is so gratifying to know that state government - whether it is the Department of Banking and Insurance, the Department of Health, or Department of Human Services – is working in one direction and that direction is to improve the quality of healthcare through the use of Health IT.”

NJIT’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. Don Sebastian, adds, “NJIT focuses not only on what interests the university community, but also on what is important to the world and the communities around the university.  And what can be more important than the issue of healthcare.  Everyone talks about it, but at NJIT, we are doing something about it through information technology – connecting the doctor and patient in real time, lowering business costs, and improving the business processes to achieve the overall goal of improving clinical outcomes.”

NJ-HITEC provides support and assistance to New Jersey’s Primary Care Providers (PCPs) in the selection, implementation, and achievement of “Meaningful Use” of an ONC accredited Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.  The organization was established in June 2010 by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) through a $23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.  NJ-HITEC is one of 62 federally designated Regional Extension Centers nationwide established to improve American healthcare delivery and patient care through the investment in health information technology. 

Contact:  Denise Anderson, Ph.D., Director Strategic Initiatives at (732) 618-3867 for additional information or e-mail denisea@adm.njit.edu.