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Institute for Health Informatics records

Identifier: ua-01204

Scope and Content

The majority of this collection is related to grants applied for and received by the Institute for Health Informatics. There are large series of applications and annual reports for an NLM training grant and an NIH simulation grant, as well as individual or smaller series of applications and reports for other grants. Also within this collection is a set of technical reports created by associated faculty, some theses and dissertations by students in the department, information on the computer languages used, and some department and grant administration documents.


  • Creation: 1967-2008


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law Title 17, U.S. Code. Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

The Division of Health Computer Sciences, housed within the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, was created in 1968. This division was created with the purpose of providing interdisciplinary training to predoctoral and postdoctoral students wishing to apply health computer sciences technology to health services research. Through this department, the University of Minnesota applied for and earned the prestigious National Library of Medicine Grant for Training in Health Computer Sciences in 1974. This was the formal start of the Graduate Program in Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota. This grant allowed the Division of Health Computer Sciences to focus on training students in the field of health computer sciences, now known as health informatics, and funded equipment that allowed the division to be among the foremost in the country.

On the research side of things, a large grant into the topic of simulation began in 1982, with smaller research grants following. Simulations of how epidemics could spread, how HIV could transfer from person to person in a network, and other similar topics were the primary functions of this grant. Through the funding provided by the grant, researchers at the University of Minnesota developed and expanded multiple computer programming languages to help with the simulations, were able to purchase top-of-the-line computers on which to run the simulations, and wrote training materials and journal articles about the simulation work.

In 1986, the M.S./Ph.D. degree program in Health Informatics was established. This occurred shortly after the program in Biometry and Health Information Systems, the Public Health Informatics equivalent to the Division of Health Computer Sciences, dropped the Health Information Systems portion of its program. The graduate degree program in Health Informatics was designed to be essentially the same as the Health Information Systems track of the old program. When the Health Informatics graduate degree program was created by the Graduate School Executive Committee there was question as to the meaning of "informatics" as this was the first time the University of Minnesota had officially used this term in a program title. The explanation given was that informatics refers to the application of computers to problems in biology, medicine, and health care.

Today's Institute for Health Informatics reports directly to the Vice President for Health Sciences and was formed in 2005. This moved the research programs, teaching aspects, and health outreach into one center. The current courses offered focus more on giving students an overview of general techniques and skills than teaching them how to utilize a specific tool extremely effectively. The reasoning behind this teaching style is that the field is changing so rapidly that it is impractical to teach a tool as opposed to a skill.

Heads of the Division of Health Computer Sciences/Institute for Health Informatics:

  1. Eugene Ackerman - Director 1968-1979
  2. Lael Gatewood - Director 1979-2000
  3. Donald Connelly - Director 2000-2009
  4. Connie Delaney - Acting Director 2010-present
  5. Stuart Speedie - Co-Director 2010-present


32.5 Cubic Feet (26 boxes)


This collection contains the records of the Institute for Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota, and its precursor, the Division of Health Computer Sciences. Within this collection is primarily grant-related information, focusing on applications, annual reports, publications, and administration


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  1. Training Grants
  2. Other Health Informatics-Related Grants
  3. Health Computer Sciences History
  4. Simulation Grant - LM-3582
  5. Simulation Grant - P41-RR01632
  6. Other Simulation Grants

The training grant series is further subdivided by specific grant. Simulation Grant - P41-RR01632 is divided by topic.

Source of acquisition

The materials were donated by Lael Gatewood, former director of the Institute for Health Informatics. The materials were transferred in April 2012

Related Materials in University Archives

Laboratory Medicine and Pathology records

Institute for Health Informatics Records, 1967-2008
Jenny Filipi
December 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area