To promote community health, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is making available $1 million in grants to enable communities to work collaboratively to identify opportunities to support and extend the use of secure, interoperable health IT tools and health information exchange services.

Under the Community Interoperability Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program, ONC will fund up to 10 community organizations, state or local government agencies, or other community groups to “help unlock health information and better integrate community resources advancing better care and healthier communities.” The award floor is $50,000 and the award ceiling is $100,000.

Also See: ONC Offers $28 Million to Advance Interoperability

In particular, ONC is looking to fund community projects that will work with organizations that are not eligible under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, such as long-term, post-acute care, and behavioral health providers.

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, M.D., announced the availability of grants last week at the HIMSS15 conference in Chicago. “We have been thinking through ways that we can help make investments and do some catalytic work to spur new ideas,” DeSalvo told reporters. The $1 million in funding is meant to drive “innovation around building data that is person-centered and community-centered in bringing in players that are not traditional players” and to “advance ideas that are really thinking beyond just the EHR and the traditional players,” she said.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2015. The anticipated start date for the program is August 14, 2015. An application and additional information can be found here.

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