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New York, NY– "Connecting for Health applauds Secretary Leavitt for moving the nation much closer to the day when patients and medical professionals will be able to exchange potentially lifesaving health information in a secure and private manner. By selecting Connecting for Health’s three community electronic health information exchange to serve as a prototype for the nation, the Secretary has acknowledged the major contribution made to health information technology by the hundreds of organizations involved in Connecting for Health. With the support of the federal government, Connecting for Health will help deliver what the American people want -- a fully connected health care system in the 21st century." - Carol Diamond, M.D., Managing Director, Markle Foundation; Chair, Connecting for Health Background Michael O. Leavitt, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the award of a contract today to the Connecting for Health team to make its three-community health information exchange a prototype for nationwide health information exchange. The Secretary also awarded 3 other related contracts today to develop the nationwide electronic exchange of health information.