The U.S. Department of Education's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach, John White, will travel to Mississippi this week to speak at a multi-agency rural health IT collaborative stakeholder workshop hosted by White House Rural Council partners from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA), and Health and Human Services (HHS). While in the Delta, White will also meet with leaders of USDA's Strike Force initiative and visit the Indianola Promise Neighborhood. Strike Force and Promise Neighborhoods are two of President Obama’s "Ladders of Opportunity" initiatives.
On Tuesday, July 30, in Madison, White will discuss the important roles that secondary and postsecondary education can play in training youth and adults for existing and emerging careers in health information technology in rural areas. The White House Rural Council announced the development of a rural health IT workforce as one of its policy priorities in 2012 to link community colleges and technical colleges that support rural communities with available materials and resources to support the training of health IT professionals.
On Wednesday, July 31 in Indianola, White will meet with the Delta Health Alliance team to learn about progress being made in the Indianola Promise Neighborhood. Delta Health Alliance is supporting cradle-to-career education reforms and comprehensive community-based services for children in the rural low-income Indianola Public School District. The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $6 million Promise Neighborhoods implementation grant in 2012 to support the work in Indianola.