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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Yesterday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced an additional $162 million to 16 states in Recovery Act funds to facilitate health information exchange and advance health information technology.

These critical investments will help unleash the power of health information technology to cut costs, eliminate paperwork, and help doctors deliver high-quality, coordinated care to patients,” said Secretary Sebelius. “States are important partners in improving and expanding our electronic health records system.  By improving the secure exchange of electronic health records between providers and hospitals within and across states, these awards mark a significant step in bringing our health system into the 21st century.” [3/15/10]

Washington Business Journal (Maryland) - Maryland wins $9.3M in stimulus funds for e-health records

The Maryland Health Care Commission will receive $9.3 million in federal stimulus money to build an exchange for electronic health records.

“Patients and doctors need better access to information technology and a more robust platform to share important information,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said in a statement. “This federal support will go a long way to build on the successful programs many hospitals and practices have already implemented and will, in the long run, save patients, insurers and taxpayers money.

The Baltimore Business Journal reported in December the exchange could benefit as many as 4,000 physician practices, with no more than nine doctors, in Maryland. [3/15/10]

Indianapolis Star (Indiana) - Indy health group gets $10.3M in stimulus

A newly formed statewide organization that will promote collaboration among Indiana's five health information exchanges has received $10.3 million in federal stimulus funds to support its efforts.

The overarching goal is to link electronic medical records across the state. [3/15/10]

Wausau Daily Herald (Wisconsin) - Union honors Obey for creating construction jobs

Wisconsin trade union recently honored Congressman Dave Obey for bringing construction jobs to the state last year.

Operating Engineers Local 139, based in Pewaukee, gave Obey its “Champion for Creating Wisconsin Jobs” award in recognition of Obey's efforts to secure federal stimulus money for Wisconsin, according to a news release.

“Critics of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act have made a lot of noise about how unsuccessful they believe the stimulus bill was,” Local 139 Business Manager Terry McGowan said in the news release. “But the fact is that federal money saved the construction season last year for hundreds of our members and Representative Obey was a key player in making sure those dollars were channeled to Wisconsin projects.” [3/15/10]

Daily Comet (Louisiana) - Millions in federal cash help pay for local work

Millions of federal stimulus dollars are trickling into Terrebonne and Lafourche to help boost the local workforce, create education programs and pay for local construction.

Terrebonne has gotten about $25 million, according to, a federal Web site that maps where the $787 billion ended up. Lafourche has received about twice that amount.

The bulk of Lafourche's $51 million is being spent on a new bridge, a $37 million vertical lift span that will replace the 55-year-old pontoon bridge on La. 310 in Larose. [3/15/10]

WSOC ABC-9 (North Carolina) - CPCC Uses Stimulus Funds To Train Workers

Central Piedmont Community College said Monday it will use $85,000 in federal stimulus money to create nine new fast-track job training courses.

The money came from the JobsNOW program, an initiative created by Gov. Beverly Perdue to provide workers with job training skills in six months or less.

The new CPCC courses will focus on fields like healthcare, transport technology, motorsports and office administration and will be available to the public now through the end of the year. [3/15/10]

Martinsville Bulletin (Virginia) - Stimulus money awarded

The West Piedmont Workforce Investment Board has received an additional $274,598 in stimulus funds to help dislocated workers in Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties, and Martinsville and Danville.

Funding will be used for staff-assisted job searches; tuition assistance; supportive service, such as expenses for travel to and from education and training classes; uniforms; books; fees and child care, the release said.

The WPWIB expects to be able to assist nearly 80 more dislocated workers with the funding, Adkins said. [3/16/10]

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