Milwaukee Area Technical College Helps 11 Health IT Students Get Hired

Chitra Mohla | January 31, 2012

When Aurora Health Care—Wisconsin’s largest non-profit health care network—needed assistance with electronic health record (EHR) implementation at one of its area hospitals, it reached out to the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).

Milwaukee Area Technical College is one of the 82 community colleges funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Community College Consortia Program to offer and develop health information technology (health IT) training programs.

Students in the Milwaukee Area Technical College health IT program are being trained to help health care providers across the country adopt EHRs and other health IT tools so they can better and more efficiently care for their patients.

Recruiting Students to Help Accelerate EHR Adoption

Aurora Health Care was in the process of carrying out an accelerated EHR adoption and deployment plan at one of its largest hospitals, and it needed qualified health IT professionals to assist. The hospital was specifically seeking:

  • Health IT professionals who could work directly with health care providers, and
  • IT professionals who could work on the system or design workflows for the implementation of the EHR system.

To help Aurora fulfill its employment needs, Dr. Richard Ammon, associate dean of health sciences at Milwaukee Area Technical College and director of the college’s Health Information Technology Certificate Program, used the resources of the college to refer students from the health IT program to Aurora Health Care. As a result, Aurora hired 11 MATC health IT recent graduates and students at the area hospital!

“In going through the interview and hiring process, we felt these MATC graduates had more than just the skills the job required, but also came from diverse backgrounds and had strong problem-solving faculties,” said Russ Hinz, director of hospital deployments at Aurora Health Care.

“We are pleased with the individuals we hired from MATC and look forward to future opportunities.”

About the Health IT Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC’s health IT program is designed to train existing health care, IT, and project management professionals in new and emerging health IT professions. The program helps students leverage their existing experience and apply their new skills in real-world settings.

“Our goal is three-fold,” said Dr. Ammon of MATC. “Recruit students, train them, and help them to make the link between the curriculum that they have learned, their prior experience, and the employer.”

Unique Approach to Helping Students Obtain Health IT Careers

With Aurora Health Care, MATC had a unique opportunity to showcase its students’ previous work experience and current health IT training. To help introduce its students to other potential employers, MATC uses a “trading card” approach. The trading card features a photo of the MATC student as well as a snapshot of his or her professional and academic experience, which MATC distributes at job fairs and health IT-related organizations.

In addition to networking students with companies, using trading cards, and job fairs, MATC also uses a job board to connect students with potential health IT job opportunities.

Bright Future for Health IT Professionals

This story is but one example of how community colleges across the country, part of the Community College Consortia Program, are working hard to train the health IT workforce needed to help America modernize its health care system through health IT. The good news for health IT students is that employers are actively seeking such skilled and qualified health IT workers!


For More Information

For more information on health information technology, visit HealthIT.gov.