News Brief - 3/17/09 Applications for Scholarships Accepted Through April 19 Within the U.S. healthcare industry, there is a growing need for trained IT professionals who understand healthcare. Western Governors University, www.wgu.edu, the nonprofit online university established to address workforce needs by offering relevant, accessible online degree programs for working adults, is helping to meet that need by offering a B.S. in Health Informatics. Designed for experienced IT and healthcare professionals, the program combines healthcare and information technology to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills they need to design, develop, and manage health information systems. According to a recent article in Certification Magazine, “The demand for health IT professionals is increasing with the stimulus package, which set aside $17 billion dollars to provide incentives for health care providers to adopt technology. William Hersh, M.D., of Oregon Health and Science University, found in a 2008 study that the U.S. will need at least 40,000 additional health care IT professionals — almost 40 percent more than hospitals currently employ — for quality improvements and cost savings to be realized.” WGU’s unique competency-based academic approach enables students to complete degree requirements more quickly, accelerating their programs by building on their work experience and academic backgrounds. In addition, graduates of the B.S. in Health Informatics program will earn two IT certifications, CompTIA+ IT Technician and CIW Database Design Specialist, at no additional cost. Tuition at the online university is affordable, roughly equivalent to that of a state college or university. To encourage qualified students to enroll, WGU is offering the Excellence in Health Informatics Scholarship. The scholarship is valued up to $2,500, and applications will be accepted through April 15, 2009. Multiple scholarships will be awarded. However, this is a competitive program so applications should be submitted as soon as possible. For more information, call 1-866-225-5948 (866-CALL-WGU).