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~ Will develop unique workforce to implement electronic health records
~ TCC leads 1 of 5 health IT education consortiums in the U.S.  

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Sept. 22, 2010) – Primed to prepare a pioneering workforce to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records across Hampton Roads and beyond, Tidewater Community College launches its Health Information Technology (Health IT) Workforce Solutions Program on Sept. 28 and 29 with critical orientation sessions.  

To assist U.S. healthcare providers’ mandated move to electronic record systems by 2014, TCC is leading one of five consortiums across the country to prepare a uniquely skilled workforce to get the job done. 

Offered in evening classes, the six-month Health IT program – free for the first cohort accepted into the program (up to 150 qualified students) – focuses on unique skill sets for first-ever jobs in health IT, identified at the national level. These jobs are:

  • practice workflow redesign specialist
  • clinician/consultant
  • implementation support specialist
  • implementation manager
  • technical/software support staff
  • trainer

“These are skill sets that never existed before,” says Gretchen LeFever, TCC’s new director for the Health IT consortium. “And the people accepted into our first session will be pioneers among a select group across the United States.”

The first steps: Candidates must complete the application (fillable pdf - disregard payment section), save a copy, attach and email the application to; then attend the mandatory orientation session – 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 or 29 at the Advanced Technology Center, TCC Virginia Beach Campus – where they will receive a more detailed overview of the training programs and participate in an intake/assessment process.

Background:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) selected TCC to lead a consortium to educate up to 7,500 information technology professionals in healthcare in a 12-state region over the next two years through a grant for $16,017,608.

One of five regions in the country’s Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals in Health Care program, the TCC-led region has 25 percent of the U.S. population – more than 75 million people – one of the largest regions in the initiative. TCC is coordinating the collaboration of more than 100 community stakeholders and 22 other community colleges to provide training needed to establish or expand health IT systems.

Leading educational partners in the TCC consortium are Sentara Healthcare, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Virginia’s Statewide Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center.

According to the HHS, “An increased workforce of skilled health IT specialists will be important in supporting providers as they transition to electronic health records.” The national Health IT website also notes that, “Estimates based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Education, and independent studies indicate a shortfall over the next five years of approximately 50,000 qualified health IT workers required to meet the needs of hospitals and physicians as they move to adopt electronic health care systems.”


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit