College Launches New Public Health Informatics & Technology (PHIT) Programs

PHIT Program Manager Carrie Boericke

Beginning in fall 2022, Dominican College students will be able to study the interesting and expanding field of Public Health Informatics and Technology (PHIT).  PHIT is a multi-disciplinary field applying data science skills to solve complex health care issues and to improve public health outcomes.  The College will offer a PHIT concentration in both the Health Sciences major and the Information Technology major, a PHIT minor, and a post-baccalaureate certificate program for adults.

The College’s Health Sciences program and the IT program in the Business Administration Division have teamed up to lead the PHIT Force. “This is a terrific opportunity to expand career options for Dominican College graduates,” said PHIT Program Manager Carrie Boericke.  “Becoming a public health informaticist will open up paths that are literally just coming into view on the horizon – both in private and public sector institutions.  Data skills will be key to success and social mobility for today’s students.”

The PHIT program at Dominican College is funded through a $1.9 million PHIT Workforce Program grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Dominican College was one of only 10 higher education institutions nationwide to receive this funding.  The grant aims to strengthen U.S. public health information technology efforts, improve COVID-19 data collection, and increase the diversity of the public health IT workforce.

Dominican College’s PHIT courses will begin with an introduction to PHIT, including a discussion of career options and case studies of how it can be used to address health disparities in communities.  Students will then hone data and project skills in an emergency response role-play exercise, simulating a public health emergency. All PHIT Force students will have a paid internship to cap off their studies, recognizing that employers are looking for real-world experience in job applicants. 

A consortium has been developed to help administer the program. The consortium, which may expand, now includes Bon Secours Charity Health System, CorEvitas, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Mount Sinai Health System, EmpiRx Health, and the New York State Department of Health. Consortium members will provide internship opportunities and feedback to keep the curriculum relevant for evolving employer requirements. 

Prospective students interested in learning more about the PHIT Force program at Dominican College should email Assistant Professor Carrie Boericke at carrie.boericke@dc.edu