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Cincinnati, Detroit last two of 17 Beacon Communities

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Cincinnati and Detroit are the two final pilot cities selected under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Beacon Community Program, which aims to use health information technology to help tackle leading health problems in communities across the country and accelerate development of a nationwide health IT infrastructure.

Cincinnati and Detroit are the two final pilot cities selected under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Beacon Community Program, which aims to use health information technology (HIT) to help tackle leading health problems in communities across the country and accelerate development of a nationwide health IT infrastructure.

"The Beacon program uses HIT tools to link health providers and other community-wide resources in new and innovative ways," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Under the Beacon program, communities first identify leading health problems that are unique to their community, develop innovative HIT-related strategies, and work together through community collaborations to implement their strategies and track their performance."

The Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge Inc. will receive $13.8 million over 3 years to focus on pediatric asthma, adult diabetes, and smoking cessation in a 16-county area spanning three states surrounding greater Cincinnati. The Southeastern Michigan Health Association (SEMHA) will receive $16.2 million over 3 years to focus on diabetes in the greater Detroit area.

They join 15 other projects selected in May for the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. The other communities that previously received Beacon program funding include Tulsa, Oklahoma; Stoneville, Mississippi; Brewer, Maine; Danville, Pennsylvania; Salt Lake City, Utah; Indianapolis, Indiana; Spokane, Washington; New Orleans, Louisiana; Rochester, Minnesota; Providence, Rhode Island; Grand Junction, Colorado; Concord, North Carolina; San Diego, California; Hilo, Hawaii; and Buffalo, New York. 

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