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Hudson Valley Community College Garners SUNY High Needs Grant to Boost Health Information Technology Program

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015

A $90,000 SUNY High Needs Grant will help Hudson Valley Community College’s two-year Health Information Management and Technology degree provide credentialed graduates that the regional health care industry is seeking.

The associate degree program annually graduates about 30-40 students who are trained to work as administrative medical office staff members. The new grant funding will allow the college to seek accreditation for the program through the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM).

“We have always offered a relevant and up-to-date curriculum but because we’ve lacked a program director with the appropriate credential, we’ve been unable to move forward with accreditation. This grant will help change that,” said Assistant Professor Barbara Lamarche, who helped author the grant application.

The college will use the $90,263 competitive grant to revise the curriculum and cover the cost of a program director who has the required Registered Health Information Administrator credential. The ultimate goal will be to model the curriculum around standards set up by CAHIIM.

The degree can be completed in a traditional on-campus format or completely online. It is one of 24 degree or certificate programs offered online by the college and is available through Open SUNY, the state university’s online degree platform.

Those students who graduate after the program becomes accredited will be eligible to take the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) exam, which is becoming the standard for those entering the field.

The college expects enrollment in the program to increase by up to 15 percent annually after accreditation by CAHIIM. Growth in this field is expected to continue with the implementation of a nationwide electronic health records system and the expansion of health care coverage created by the Affordable Care Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for medical records and health information technicians are projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022. The New York State Department of Labor lists medical records and health information technicians as a priority occupation in the Capital Region and high priority in several of the surrounding counties.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.

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