United Health Foundation announced Tuesday it will begin a $1.6 million, three-year partnership with UNC to launch a new health care technology workforce training and education program through the Carolina Health Informatics Program.
UnitedHealth Group created the non-profit United Health Foundation to improve the health care system and the health of people, said CEO Dave Wichmann, who attended the event along with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and Gov. Roy Cooper.
Project ENABLE, the new program, will seek to expand access to health care data and informatics education through online and in-class training. It will focus on minority undergraduate students considering professions in the health care field.
Folt said this focus is necessary because African-American and Latinx students make up about 40 percent of the population but only 5 percent of the health care workforce.
“We need to make sure we are bringing everyone in,” she said.
Cooper said he saw the need for a training program such as Project ENABLE when his parents were sick, and they had to visit multiple doctors. Different doctors would run the same tests because they had no way of seeing previous results, a problem that could be alleviated with comprehensive information systems.
He said UNC is a great place for this program.
“This University makes a real difference,” he said.
The grant supports three different programs within Project ENABLE: in-person summer boot camps for students from local HBCUs, new course content for online health informatics programs and a new online master’s degree to help professionals gain expertise with health informatics.