The University of the District of Columbia PHIT4DC Press Release

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Awards the University of the District of Columbia $8.7 Million Towards the Training of Minorities in Public Health Informatics Technology

Funds Will Establish Consortium to Increase Diversity in Health Tech

WASHINGTON – The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) was awarded $8.7 million (award # 90PH0007/01-00) from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a consortium aimed at identifying and educating individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in public health, informatics and data science over the next four years.

The larger $73 million project targets 10 Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) funded through the American Rescue Plan, the ONC’s Public Health Informatics & Technology (PHIT) Workforce Development Program, which seeks to train more than 4,000 minority students over a four-year period. PHIT consortia members will be responsible for developing curricula, recruiting and training participants, securing internship opportunities, and assisting in career placement.

The D.C. consortium, titled PHIT4DC, will be led by the University of the District of Columbia and includes Howard University, The District of Columbia Primary Care Association, the Government of District of Columbia, Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), and Zane Networks, LLC (ZaneNet). The consortium will leverage the strengths of the PHIT4DC members as they share and learn best practices. They will also work collaboratively to broaden the program’s exposure and credibility throughout DC by avoiding duplicative efforts and achieving mutually beneficial goals to create a minority healthcare informatics workforce.

UDC is the nation’s only exclusively urban, land-grant, emerging research, public Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that serves the residents of the District of Columbia and the surrounding region. The transdisciplinary research promoted at UDC focuses on areas that collaboratively increase urban sustainability and resiliency in agriculture, business, engineering, workforce development, law and social justice, and the arts and sciences.

“Diversity in health care technology is vital to ensuring better health outcomes for everyone, and PHIT4DC is a major step toward preparing the District’s minority populations for the task,” shared UDC President Ronald Mason Jr. “PHIT’s goals align with UDC’s mission to serve the needs of the D.C. community to produce lifelong learners who are transformative leaders. This effort will open avenues for better job opportunities and cultivate a robust, sustainable public health workforce.”

Other higher education institutions named in the award include Bowie State University; California State University, Long Beach Research Foundation; Dominican College of Blauvelt, Inc.; Jackson State University; Norfolk State University; Regents of the University of Minnesota; University of Texas Health Science Center; the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and University of California, Irvine.

Read the original press release.


The only public university in the nation’s capital and the only urban land-grant university in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is committed to a broad mission of education, research, and community service. Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, UDC offers workforce training, professional certification, and 81 undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to create opportunities for student success. The University comprises a Community College and Division of Workforce Development and Lifelong LearningSchool of Engineering and Applied SciencesSchool of Business and Public AdministrationCollege of Arts and Sciences, College of AgricultureUrban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences and the David A. Clarke School of Law. Learn more at

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