ANN ARBOR — A new Master of Health Informatics program at the University of Michigan has been established to develop leaders and solutions in the growing industry.

The program, offered jointly by the School of Information and the School of Public Health, is accepting applications for admission for the inaugural class of the two-year program, which begins in fall 2012.

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It is the only Master of Health Informatics program offered by a public university in Michigan.

The program offers distinctive emphases on leadership and consumer health informatics. Health informatics is a growing field in which information is leveraged and information technologies are developed and used to maintain or improve health and to improve patient care.

Leaders in the field are needed to develop the next generation of information solutions related to health, and to ensure that the current generation of solutions is used to full advantage. Graduates of the health informatics program who emphasize consumer health will develop solutions, taking full advantage of mobile and other emerging technologies, that empower consumers to become active participants in the promotion and maintenance of their own health.

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“This program will emphasize the game-changing information technologies that will be used by health care consumers, which means all members of society, to promote health and wellness in entirely new ways. The graduates of this program will be leaders and innovators at the forefront of a revolution,” said Charles Friedman, program director with appointments in both UMSI and SPH.

The program combines the expertise of the SPH faculty in population health, health policy, and health promotion with UMSI’s expertise in human-centered design and the development, implementation and evaluation of cutting-edge information resources. Faculty at both schools are currently engaged in numerous research studies that focus on all aspects of health informatics.

The field is growing quickly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that health information management and health informatics employment will grow nearly 18 percent by 2016, and predicts a need for more than 6,000 new professionals each year through 2014.

In fall 2011, UMSI and SPH began offering an 18-hour graduate certificate in health informatics for students already enrolled in a graduate program at U-M. That program expects to award its first certificates in spring 2012.

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The priority deadline for applications to the new master’s degree program is Feb. 15, 2012. For more information about the health informatics graduate program visit: