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Graduate health informatics program at Marshall is one of three accredited in U.S.

Published 10:05am Wednesday, May 15, 2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University’s Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) degree program was awarded national accreditation April 19 from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management.

It is one of three nationally accredited programs in the United States, joining the University of Illinois at Chicago and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore. It is also the only accredited, graduate-level program in health informatics within the state of West Virginia.

Bruce Felder, manager of human resources at Cabell Huntington Hospital, said the MSHI program at Marshall is shedding light on how technology and one’s ability to become self-sufficient can spill over into the gigantic, multi-faceted industry of health care.

“In today’s age, we can buy, sell, exchange money, goods and services without leaving home,” Felder said. “In the future, visiting your doctor, making appointments and viewing your medical records will be common practice, all from a mobile device. MSHI students will be the infrastructure, bridge and crossroad between technology and health care information.”

Dr. Girmay Berhie, program director for the Department of Health Informatics at Marshall, said the accreditation process took more than two years to complete and would not have been possible without the unique collaboration among faculty in the College of Health Professions, the College of Business and the College of Information Technology and Engineering.

“We have such a supportive relationship among these three colleges here at Marshall,” Berhie said. “It’s a unique model we’ve used to develop a program of this nature, which combines the skills and resources from each department. The program would not be possible without this partnership.”

Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the College of Health Professions, said receiving accreditation sets the MSHI program among the elite programs for health informatics in the country.

“The standards of our program exceed what is required by the national accrediting agency,” Prewitt said. “We are a premier destination for health professions programs in the tri-state. Our graduates will be very marketable in the health informatics community.”

The MSHI program received 10-year accreditation and will participate in a designated on-site visit in one year in order to continue to meet accreditation requirements.

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