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Bramson lands $5K grant for digital classes

As President Barack Obama’s administration pushes for the widespread conversion of paper health records to electronic ones, it will be imperative for employees in medical offices to be trained in the new technology — and Bramson ORT in Forest Hills is readying its students for the change.

Bramson ORT, a two-year technical college with a campus on Austin Street, will launch an electronic health records course this spring using a $5,000 grant from Verizon Communications.

“Medical offices are moving to the paperless environment to eliminate mistakes and improve communications between medical professionals and patients,” said Bramson ORT’s college director, Ephraim Buhks. “It’s important for us to train professionals in this field.”

Verizon has supported Bramson with tens of thousands of dollars over the past six years.

June Jee, Verizon’s director of government and external affairs in Queens, said her company and the college “share a vision that education and literacy are core values that prepare students for personal growth, enabling them to attain higher levels of literacy so they will succeed as adults and contribute to the community.”

Verizon has given more than $45,000 in grants to Bramson for its continuing efforts in developing and maintaining its computer technology, medical and electronics technology departments. The new electronics record course arrives a couple years after the college began its medical assistant training program.

Buhks emphasized the course will help the college’s students, many of whom are “single parents, unemployed, refugees and immigrants,” to find work in a tough economy.

“With this grant, we want to show that even in difficult times our college has broad support from the community,” Buhks said. “Even in this highly depressed economy, the college is choosing the right training. The fact that Verizon stepped in and helped us with this grant is indicative of the importance of our school.”

The Obama administration has invested billions of stimulus fund dollars into setting up an electronic health records system and has especially focused on implementing the new technology in community health centers.

“Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, make health care more efficient and improve the quality of medical care for all Americans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a recent statement.

Bramson is part of ORT, a nonprofit that operates a worldwide network of schools and training centers in more than 60 countries. Besides Bramson’s campus in Forest Hills, it also has a site in Brooklyn.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

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