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FDRHPO receives $287,592grant to help improve area’s medical technology workforce

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The Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization on Wednesday received a $287,592 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help expand the area’s health information technology workforce.

According to a press release from the office of Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, the department listed the Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis county region as a health professional shortage area, and said the area had a high rate of preventable chronic diseases.

The kind of projects funded with the grants have included expansions in the use of electronic medical records, telehealth programs, technology-based home monitoring networks and mobile health technology.

The release said that expanding the workforce would help reduce the level of certain preventable chronic ailments.

“Better technology means better preventative care, which reduces hospital admissions, readmissions and emergency room visits. That means lower health care costs and insurance premiums for all of us,” Mr. Owens said in a statement.

The FDRHPO’s executive director, Denise K. Young, said in a statement that the grant would help create a workforce prepared for future technology improvements.

“With the implementation of electronic medical records to improve patient care for the people of the North Country, it is critical that we have a workforce prepared to effectively deploy and utilize the technology,” her statement read.

It further said that the FDRHPO would pair with Jefferson Community College to train future medical workers.

“This type of training is integral to the mission of the college, and we are pleased to be a partner with FDRHPO in providing it to the community,” said Jill M. Pippin, the college’s dean of continuing education, in a statement. “The education that students will receive will provide them with skills training, career development, and the application of practical knowledge that will assist them in their daily or future careers.”

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