The Office of Rural Health Policy has announced the release of the Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) Grant Program (HRSA-11-137). ORHP says HIT is critically important for rural communities and while a lot of the early innovation in the use of electronic records and HIT networks was done in rural communities, many challenges still remain. This pilot program was developed as a result of the President’s Rural Health Initiative which identifies HIT as a priority area and the Secretary’s Rural HIT Taskforce. To address these and other HIT issues, Secretary Sebelius established an HHS Rural HIT task force co-led by HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield and the Office of the National Coordinator. The purpose of the taskforce is to discuss the challenges rural communities face in adopting HIT, ways to address these challenges, and how to coordinate resources from the federal level. One of the major challenges that the taskforce has identified is access to capital and ORHP anticipates that this program will assist rural communities in addressing this challenge.
Due to the unique broadness and flexibility of the 330a authorization, ORHP had a great opportunity to develop this grant program in response to these initiatives. The rural HIT program was developed out of the Network Development Program legislation (330a authority), keeping the focus on rural networks.
To download the funding opportunity, click here.
The deadline to submit an application in grants.gov is May 27th, 2011. ORHP strongly recommends that applicants submit their applications prior to the due date to avoid any technological problems. All applications have to be submitted electronically in www.grants.gov
There will be a technical assistance call for this funding announcement which will be held May 10th at 2pm eastern. The toll-free number to call in is 1-888 -577-8992. The Passcode is HIT. For your reference, the Technical Assistance call will be recorded and available for playback within one hour of the end of the call and will be available until June 10, 2011 11:59 PM (ET). The phone number to hear the recorded call is: 1-866-420-5718.
For further questions on this funding opportunity, please contact the program coordinator, Marcia Green at 301-443-3261.