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Harrisburg Health Information Exchange Submits ARRA Health IT Grant

Harrisburg Health Information Exchange Submits ARRA Grant
Broad coalition seeks regional Health IT extension center status

(HARRISBURG, PA) – The Harrisburg Health Information Exchange and TechQuest Pennsylvania, operated by the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, announced the submission of a preliminary grant application totaling under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The preliminary grant application will be vigorously reviewed under standards established by the federal government in the administration of the ARRA. Decisions on the ARRA-Health IT grants are anticipated as early as September 29, 2009.

The Health IT grant opportunity is a $598 million pool of ARRA funding that will help non-profit organizations establish 70 or more regional centers to lead the efforts to raise awareness, educate and help primary care providers achieve meaningful use of electronic health records.

The Harrisburg Health Information Exchange (“HHIE”) was established in 2007 by the HHIE Advisory Board and TechQuest Pennsylvania to bring together healthcare and community leaders to improve healthcare quality, costs, access and patient safety through the deployment of health information technologies within and between health care organizations in the greater Harrisburg region. Through our collective efforts we want to speed the Harrisburg deployment of electronic medical records, electronic prescription solutions and health information exchange technologies in order to improve healthcare quality at the most critical time: the point-of-care.

Our efforts will focus on sustainable business models combined with a complementary array of bundled-service-offerings that increase security, performance, return-on-investment (ROI), sustainability and participation. Because we are located in the state capitol region, we will also develop and showcase best practices in order to advance public policy awareness, legislative support and funding to help our region as well as other regions in the Commonwealth.

“On behalf of a broad coalition of hospitals, physicians, other healthcare providers, community groups and businesses, we are very pleased to announce this preliminary grant application for the Harrisburg Health Information Exchange (“HHIE”), said Kelly Lewis, President & CEO of TechQuest Pennsylvania and a co-founder of the Harrisburg Health Information Exchange. He added, “The HHIE advisory board and many volunteers have devoted thousands to bring everyone together, raise awareness and jumpstart cross-organization understanding, trust and information sharing."

The HHIE grant application would help over a 1,000 primary care providers achieve meaningful use of electronic health records. Through the EMR Adoption and Use Committee, chaired by Edith Dees, CIO of Holy Spirit Hospital and the HHIE Physicians Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Joseph Cincotta, of Heritage Medical Group, the HHIE is uniquely positioned to help physicians and healthcare providers achieve meaningful use of electronic health records.

In the first of the two two-year budget periods for cooperative agreements issued under this program, the Office of National Coordinator will make $598 million available for approximately 70 Regional Centers. The estimated range of award values for the initial two-year budget period is approximately $1 million to $30 million per Regional Center, with an estimated average of around $8.5 million.

During its first two-year budget period, each Regional Center is required to cover at least ten percent of the capital and annual operating and maintenance costs for Regional Center operations and services out of funding other than that awarded through its cooperative agreements under this program. Acceptable sources of funding include non-federal grants and program income.

In the first two years, recipients will use federal funding across two categories: core support and direct assistance support. Core support includes such activities as outreach and education, grant and program management, local workforce support, and participation peer-learning and knowledge transfer activities facilitated by the HITRC. Direct assistance support will be used for direct technical assistance to priority primary-care providers, and will be released quarterly based on the number of client providers that have achieved specific milestones within the preceding quarter.


TechQuest Pennsylvania is the catalyst for sustained growth in technology business development in Pennsylvania. We lead strategies that build strong industry partnerships, robust technology infrastructures, and strengthen our technology workforce in order to discover, demonstrate and deploy advanced technology and innovations across regions and the state. TechQuest Pennsylvania programs include the Harrisburg Health Information Exchange, TechQuest Internship, TechQuest Insurance, TechQuest TV, TechQuest-Workforce Training, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Group, TechQuest Broadband, and the Military Information eXchange-MiX 2009. For more information visit:,, or call Leigh Twiford at 717.635.2172,

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Comment by N. K. Skip Best on September 13, 2009 at 12:08pm
Great stuff Kelly. Best of luck with this.


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