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UTTC expands medical jobs training with grant
26 October 2005

BISMARCK (UTN) - A grant from the U.S. Department of Labor promises to strengthen an innovative jobs training program at United Tribes Technical College.

      The $1.4 million award, announced October 19 by North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, will help the college grow its new Medical Transcription Certification Program, incorporating newly designed "virtual laboratory" technology.

Governor John Hoeven
North Dakota Governor John Hoeven

      "This is a positive step to connect students to high paying jobs," said Hoeven. "It allows UTTC students to use state-of-the-art medical transcription training equipment."

      Earlier this year the college expanded its accredited health information technology program into the high growth, high demand field of medical transcription training with the acquisition of Exact-Med, a Bismarck-based medical transcription training company.

      "This is going to revolutionize the way medical transcription training is taught," said Karla Baxter, director, UTTC Health Information Technology Program.

      Until recently, academic programs had limited access to information technology tools used in the workplace. Now, instead of hard copy text and cassette tapes for training, UTTC transcription students will access the "virtual lab" online to work with voice files and the industry's latest software.

      "We've been working with the Dictaphone Corporation and other major companies on the 'Virtual Lab Project,'" said Baxter. "It becomes part of our curriculum early in the new year."

      The three-year Community-Based Job Training grant compliments UTTC's participation in designing the "Virtual Lab," a project of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Through Baxter's participation, the college is one of only a handful of organizations in the country involved in planning for classroom applications of the new training technology.

UTTC President David M. Gipp
UTTC President David M. Gipp

      "This kind of training is cutting edge," said David M. Gipp, UTTC president. "Students will be getting the best start in a high demand field. It's the kind of 21st Century workforce training that leads to business development on reservations and anywhere around the country."

      The grant will leverage additional funding from over a dozen employers, training and education organizations, government agencies, and other partners that endorsed the grant.

      The UTTC proposal was selected through a competitive process involving 400 applications from around the country. It's one of 70 grants awarded to community colleges.

      "I commend Dr. David Gipp and United Tribes Technical College for their successful efforts to secure this grant and for their constant efforts to provide more opportunities for their students," said Hoeven.

      Hoeven met on several occasions with Emily Stover DeRocco, Assistant DOL Secretary for Employment and Training, to explain "the outstanding work UTTC is doing on behalf of Native Americans" and to encourage funding the grant.

      For more information about UTTC's Medical Transcription Certification Program and the Virtual Lab contact the UTTC Health Information Technology Program 701-255-3285 x 1245 or kbaxter@uttc.edu.


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