2008 Establishment of NHIT®
The National HIT Collaborative for the Underserved, Inc. (NHIT®), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, established in 2008 with a mission to engage underserved populations in the development and use of health information technology (HIT) as a means to support and sustain health equity and economic viability based on NHIT’s five pillars: Workforce, Innovation, Policy, Research, and Community.
A Dire Public Health Challenge
More than 450,000 Americans in Puerto Rico (PR) and the US Virgin Islands (USVI), are served by 24 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and approximately 100 affiliated health clinics distributed across the islands. The FQHCs provide essential primary and community care services for the most vulnerable communities, specifically those citizens who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. The FQHCs combined with local clinics and Individual Practice Associations (IPAs) serve 1.7 million patients, over half the total population of PR and USVI.
After making progress towards restoring power to more than 1 million residents in PR and USVI following Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6th, PR and USVI were struck by Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20th, causing severe, widespread damage to essential infrastructure. The National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT), with guidance from supporting partners, immediately launched the NHIT Care Campaign to help rebuild the HIT and health care infrastructure by providing emergency medical response, healthcare supply chain, and technology-enabled care coordination to help FQHCs and local primary care hubs for underserved communities.
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