Virginia governor awards health technology grants

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Governor Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia has awarded two $150,000 health IT grants to projects designed to expand the use of EHRs in the state. The recipients were Centra Health in Lynchburg and the Northern Virginia Regional Health Information Organization (NOVARHIO) in Fairfax County.

"These modest health IT grants will improve our ability to deliver high quality healthcare to Virginians through the expansion of electronic health records," said Kaine. "This investment continues efforts in the Commonwealth to help providers deliver best care to patients and expand our health IT infrastructure."

Each program was awarded $150,000 through a grant program initiated by Kaine last year with funding provided by the General Assembly and have found matching funds to create a total investment of more than $550,000.

The Centra Health project focuses on allowing physicians in the Lynchburg area to use the American College of Cardiologist's Program for Improving Continuous Cardiac Care through an expansion of their EMRs.

The NOVARHIO project, in partnership with INOVA Health System and Erickson Senior Living, intends to create a mechanism to ensure electronic access to patient medication histories in the emergency room. NOVARHIO also will simultaneously launch a program to educate citizens in northern Virginia about the need for a personal health record.

These grants complete the award of grants started last year with three $250,000 awards to CareSpark in Southwest Virginia; the Community Care Network of Virginia in Southside; and MedVirginia in Central Virginia. These programs have already used their state funding to help draw down more than $6 million in federal funding.