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Western Governors University Addresses Rising Demand for Healthcare IT Professionals with B.S. in Health Informatics
Date:3/17/2009

Applications for Scholarships Accepted Through April 19

SALT LAKE CITY, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Within the U.S. healthcare industry, there is a growing need for trained IT professionals who understand healthcare. Western Governors University, www.wgu.edu, the nonprofit university established to address workforce needs by offering relevant, accessible online degree programs for working adults, is helping to meet that need by offering a B.S. in Health Informatics. Designed for experienced IT and healthcare professionals, the program combines healthcare and information technology to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills they need to design, develop, and manage health information systems.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081030/DC42901LOGO)

According to a recent article in Certification Magazine, "The demand for health IT professionals is increasing with the stimulus package, which set aside $17 billion dollars to provide incentives for health care providers to adopt technology. William Hersh, M.D., of Oregon Health and Science University, found in a 2008 study that the U.S. will need at least 40,000 additional health care IT professionals -- almost 40 percent more than hospitals currently employ -- for quality improvements and cost savings to be realized."

WGU's unique competency-based academic approach enables students to complete degree requirements more quickly, accelerating their programs by building on their work experience and academic backgrounds. In addition, graduates of the B.S. in Health Informatics program will earn two IT certifications, CompTIA+ IT Technician and CIW Database Design Specialist, at no additional cost. Tuition at the online university is affordable, roughly equivalent to that of a state college or university.

To encourage qualified students to enroll, WGU is offering the Excellence in Health Informatics Scholarship. The scholarship is valued up to $2,500, and applications will be accepted through April 15, 2009. Multiple scholarships will be awarded. However, this is a competitive program so applications should be submitted as soon as possible. For more information, go to www.wgu.edu/informatics or call 1-866-225-5948 (866-CALL-WGU).

About Western Governors University (WGU)

"[WGU is] the best relatively cheap university you've never heard of."

-- TIME magazine (Nov. 2008)

WGU is the only accredited online university in the U.S. offering competency-based degree programs. The private non-profit university has been a leader in online education for more than 10 years. WGU is the recipient of the USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning for 2008, awarded in recognition of WGU's success in expanding access to higher education. WGU has been honored as one of the 2008 Top 20 Military Friendly Colleges and Universities by Military Advanced Education magazine. WGU sponsors the Online Student Survival Guide, a blog that addresses many of the questions and daily concerns online students from any online college or university face.

Now serving more than 11,000 students, WGU was founded by 19 U.S. governors, and is supported by more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, BearingPoint, Dell, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, HCA, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, Sun Microsystems, and Zions Bank. WGU offers bachelor's and master's degrees in business, information technology, teacher education, and health professions, with students in all 50 states. More information is available at www.wgu.edu.

Contact for enrollment information:

866-225-5948

    Contact for media inquiries:
    Joan Mitchell -- Director of PR
    801-428-5463
    jmitchell@wgu.edu



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SOURCE Western Governors University
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