The University of Central Florida was awarded $7.6 million in federal stimulus funds to establish a health information technology regional extension center.

UCF’s College of Medicine and the Florida Health Care Coalition worked together on submitting the grant proposal for the center, which would help local doctors implement and use health information technology.

The university was one of 28 nonprofit organizations nationally to get a slice of the $267 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds, according to an April 6 release by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The awards, which will provide community-based support to providers to accelerate the adoption of health information technology, are part of the $2 billion effort by the Recovery Act to achieve widespread meaningful use of health IT and provide use of an electronic health record by every person by the year 2014. It will also help grow the emerging health information technology industry, which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs.

Regional extension centers enable health care practitioners to reach out to a local resource for technical assistance, guidance and information on best practices.

This round of awards, bringing the total number of regional extension centers to 60, will provide nationwide outreach and technical support services to at least 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years. More than $375 million had been awarded earlier to regional extension centers under this program.

All of the regional extension centers award winners will have an opportunity to apply for a two-year expansion supplemental award, aimed at ensuring that health IT support services are available to more than 2,000 of the nation’s critical access hospitals and rural hospitals, both defined as having 50 beds or less. Approximately $25 million is available through this supplemental expansion program.

Source: Orlando Business Journal, American City Business Journals Inc., posted Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 2:07pm EDT | Modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 2:51pm. UCF gets $7.6M for health IT center