OHSU Teams Up with Egyptian Institute in Informatics

02/25/11  Portland, Ore.

University will create a joint graduate certificate program in biomedical informatics with Cairo-based Information Technology Institute.

Oregon Health & Science University has agreed to create a joint graduate certificate program in biomedical informatics with the Information Technology Institute (ITI) of Egypt in a joint protocol signed by Lesley M. Hallick, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and provost of OHSU, and Mohamed Salem, Ph.D., director of the ITI.

Under the joint program, courses in the distance learning curriculum of OHSU's Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) will be offered to students enrolling in ITI's new biomedical informatics program, one of 13 information technology tracks ITI students can pursue. The new program targets health care professionals and information technology specialists in Egypt who will be trained to become leaders in the deployment of IT in health care settings.

"We are delighted to be able to share our knowledge about biomedical informatics to improve health care delivery in Egypt," said William Hersh, M.D., DMICE chair and OHSU professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, who was instrumental in negotiating the arrangement with ITI. "We also see this as a model to engage in other international collaborations to disseminate knowledge of this important field more widely," he said.

Biomedical informatics is the interdisciplinary field that integrates the structure, acquisition, use and analysis of health and biomedical data and is playing an increasingly significant role in health care and biomedical research worldwide.

The DMICE under the leadership of Hersh has been a pioneer in the rapidly evolving field and has grown into one of the nation's most respected informatics academic programs. DMICE recently accepted its 500th student and more than 200 students were enrolled this year alone both on the OHSU campus and in the department's popular distance-learning program.

The ITI will graduate 500 students in all IT disciplines this year and, as a result of an expansion program and generous support from the Egyptian government, will graduate 1,000 each year after that, said Salem, at a joint protocol signing ceremony on OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.