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PCC president joins Speaker Pelosi at health care roundtable

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Educators, physicians and technical specialists from throughout the Portland area took part today in a roundtable discussion on information technology within the realm of health care.

Participants included Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Rep. David Wu of Oregon, and Preston Pulliams, Portland Community College district president.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Dr. Joseph Robertson, president of Oregon Health & Science University, also took part.

“This is an important discussion to be having in Oregon,” Pulliams said. “Estimates suggest that the need for workers in this vital field will grow by 49 percent by 2010. To meet that need, PCC’s program went online in 2002, doubling the number of applicants. We also are partnering with the Oregon Institute of Technology to help fill this critical workforce shortage.”

The roundtable took place at OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing in Portland’s southeast waterfront development.

The topics of the meeting included the technology used in operating rooms and emergency rooms, plus the technology necessary to store medical information in a way that is accessible to patients and their health-care professionals, but protected from everyone else.

PCC’s Health Information Management program began in the 1970s and has grown considerably, according to Ann Wenning, an instructor in the program. She, too, took part in the roundtable and subsequent press conference.

PCC’s program has graduated an estimated 750 students in 30 years, Pulliams said.

Congressman Wu has been an advocate for a more holistic approach to a technologically sound workforce in both health care and information technology. He sits on the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology, where we sponsored House Resolution 1467, to help invest in a health-care technology workforce, and H.R. 2406, to improve technology and maintain secure patient health care records.

Both bills have passed the House and are awaiting consideration in the Senate.

Wu also is a member of the Community College Coalition within Congress.

Speaker Pelosi praised Oregon as a leader in health care technology and said the information she learned here will help craft her “Innovation Agenda” for the 110th Congress.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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