Governor Announces E-Health Funds for UK's North Fork Valley Community Health Center

Governor Fletcher recently presented the University of Kentucky's North Fork Valley Community Health Center of Hazard with an $81,000 e-Prescribing grant at the state's first e-Health Summit in Louisville.

The North Fork Valley Community Health Center was one of five health care providers awarded funds to implement an e-Health program. The e-Prescribing grant program promotes the formation of partnerships within a community between physicians' offices, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care entities to facilitate electronic prescription processing.

"Today we stand on the cusp of a new wave of innovation and change that will fundamentally reshape the health sector of our economy, as well as how we think about health and wellness," said Governor Fletcher. "The North Fork Valley Community Health Center joins our effort to bring lower cost, higher quality health care to Kentucky families."

The vision of Kentucky's landmark e-Health legislation, Senate Bill 2, which passed in 2005, is to lower costs, increase quality and improve health outcomes. The e-Health Summit brought state and community leaders involved in e-Health initiatives throughout Kentucky together to learn more about the efforts of the Kentucky e-Health Network Board and various local health information exchange efforts.

"As the primary sponsor of SB 2 (2005), I am proud that the legislation has laid the groundwork for health care providers in Kentucky to become leaders in the field of e-Health," said Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville), "The vital advances that will be made over the coming years will improve care and make the health care system more efficient for all Kentuckians."

At the summit, Governor Fletcher touted the possibilities of e-Health, the term used to describe an electronic health care network. Joined by leaders in technology, health care and other business fields, the governor gave a broad overview of e-Health achievements in Kentucky and mapped future plans and goals to advance the field.

"Technology has transformed so much about the American economy, yet the health care industry continues to lag behind. We want to help make our hospitals, provider offices and pharmacies even more productive and efficient and enhance the quality of care by helping establish an e-Health network in Kentucky," said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell.

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