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News Releases @ TCC

~ Mandatory orientation sessions Feb. 15 or 16; classes start mid-March
~ Part of national program to develop unique workforce for electronic health records
~ TCC leads 1 of 5 health IT education consortia in the U.S.  

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Feb. 8, 2011) – Tidewater Community College will start reviewing applications next week for its second cohort in the Health Information Technology (Health IT) Program. Graduates of the six-month program will be prepared to join a pioneering workforce in electronic health records across Hampton Roads and beyond.

Like the inaugural offering last fall, this session will be free, thanks to a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Anyone interested in enrolling must attend a required orientation session on either Feb. 15 or 16, and submit pre-application materials by Feb. 16 to The required materials include a pre-application form (see health IT consortium), resume and cover letter.

To assist U.S. healthcare providers’ mandated move to electronic record systems by 2014, TCC is leading one of five consortia across the country to prepare a uniquely skilled workforce to get the job done.  TCC’s consortium of 23 community colleges in 12 states is nearing completion of the first offering.

“Our first cohort in the health IT program is doing very well learning skill sets that never existed before,” says Gretchen LeFever, TCC’s director for the health IT consortium. “Some students are already seeing job offers – while still in the program.” The pioneering class began Sept. 28 and concludes March 29.

The mandatory Feb. 15 and 16 orientation sessions – 6 to 8 p.m. at the Advanced Technology Center, TCC Virginia Beach Campus – will include an overview of the training programs and guide participants through the assessment/application process.

Since the fall session, TCC has consolidated specialized training into two tracks: Health IT Engineering for individuals with IT backgrounds and Health IT Consulting for individuals with healthcare or other relevant backgrounds.

With Health IT Engineering, graduates will receive training in two workforce roles

      • Implementation Support Specialist
      • Technical Software Support

With Health IT Consulting, job preparation will address these four roles:

      • Clinician Consultant
      • Implementation Manager
      • Workflow Analysis and Redesign
      • Trainer
The next training schedule will begin mid-March: Health IT Engineering will meet Tuesday and Thursday Evenings from March 17 to Aug. 30 (excluding major holidays), 6-10 p.m. on the TCC Virginia Beach Campus. Health IT Consulting will meet Monday and Wednesday from March 16 to Sept. 12 (excluding major holidays), also 6-10 p.m. on the TCC Virginia Beach Campus.

For more information, go to the web site, health IT consortium,or send an email to


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-five percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit