Gwinnett Tech, Georgia Tech partner on HIT initiative

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Students in Gwinnett Tech's new Health Information Technology programs will now have access to the cutting-edge technology and software applications shaping the rapidly-growing field.

The local college students can now use the Interoperability and Integration Innovation Lab, or the I3L, developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Gwinnett Tech and Georgia Tech are partners in an HIT education initiative and last fall were awarded a $1.65 million grant to boost job creation in the field.

The funding helped Georgia Tech to create the lab to test and evaluate cutting-edge health information technology software innovations originating from industry, researchers, faculty and students, investors and other sources.

At Gwinnett Tech, the funding is being used to develop a one-year HIT certificate program and provide tuition stipends to participating students. Scheduled to begin in January 2013, the new certificate program is employer-driven and designed to help veterans and the unemployed enter the field.

The lab will be used remotely on the Gwinnett Tech campus to enhance the learning capabilities of its HIT students by providing hands-on training resources and new software applications.

Health Information Technology is the umbrella term used to describe the comprehensive management of health information across computerized systems and its secure exchange between users.

"As part of our partnership with Georgia Tech, we look forward to connecting with the I3L to enhance our health information technology certificate and degree students' education," said Jim Sass, dean of health information systems.

Edward Oliver, a military veteran already enrolled in GTC's associate degree HIT program, said he's "had a great experience as a HIT student. The program is extremely informative and as a veteran the coursework provides an almost seamless transition from my military experience in office management and administrative duties."

In addition to the HIT certificate program, Gwinnett Tech also offers a two-year associate degree program in Health Information Technology. The program was launched last fall.

For more information, visit www.gwinnetttech.edu.