MENTOR Health IT Program off to a Successful Start

By Steven Geller, Director of Media and Public Relations

Partners of the MENTOR Health Information Technology Training program recently met at Johnson Memorial Health Services in Dawson to celebrate the successful kickoff of the program.

The MENTOR Health IT program was created from a federal grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to connect health networks with the surrounding community and provide individuals with Health Information Technology (HIT) training to meet the needs of rural Minnesota.

Federal policies and mandates requires electronic medical record (EMR) systems, quality reporting and information exchange which has created the need for employees with advanced skills and knowledge to effectively use HIT.

Currently there are 33 students enrolled in the six-month course, followed by a two month apprenticeship. After completion, this newly trained workforce will be able to support the planning, implementation, usage and optimization of HIT to support better care, greater access to care and lower costs to the patients, healthcare facilities and providers.

Thanks to the $900,000 grant awarded to the Lac qui Parle Health Network from HHS there is no cost to students to attend the training.

Normandale Community College joins Lac qui Parle Health Network (LqPHN), Medi-Sota, Minnesota West Community and Technical College (MnWest), South West Minnesota Private Industry Council (SW MIN PIC) and Healthland as partners of the MENTOR Health IT training program.

Prior to this partnership, Normandale developed training for nearly 500 Health IT professionals over the course of three years.

The MENTOR Health IT training will be offered again in January and September of 2015. For more information, please contact Bernice Robinson, LqPHN Executive Director or Lisa DuFrance, LqPHN Program Manager at 320-698-7199 or visit