A Microsoft grant of $7.5 million in software and technology to Marylhurst-based Youth Villages is powering up a new electronic medical records system for staff who provide intensive in-home, residential and transitional services in Oregon.

The grant, a part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, also will enhance Youth Villages Oregon’s internal and external communications systems.

“We’re pleased to have Microsoft as one of our most important partners,” said Lynne Saxton, executive director of Youth Villages Oregon. “This grant allows us to support our staff with modern clinical records and office technology, enabling them to do their best work for children with emotional and behavioral problems and their families.”

Counselors and staff who work in Youth Villages Oregon’s Intercept, intensive in-home services program and on the Christie and Clackamas campuses completed training and began using Netsmart’s Evolv-CS Web-based electronic health record software system last week. The grant from Microsoft has allowed infrastructure, server and workstation enhancements, which in turn brings more access and efficiency to the new system.

Youth Villages Oregon staff members use the health record system to perform such functions each day as accessing medical records, documenting treatment plans and reporting to parents and referral partners.

The grant will also allow an upgrade of Youth Villages Oregon’s Microsoft Sharepoint internal communications intranet.

Across Youth Villages, the grant will be used to upgrade technology services provided to children and youth being helped on residential campuses. Young adults in the Youth Villages transitional living program use computers powered by Microsoft to study for their GED certificates, apply for colleges, prepare resumes and search for and apply for their first jobs.

Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative committed to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years. This companywide initiative includes company programs that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.

“Through YouthSpark, we’ve made a commitment to provide opportunities for youth to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace,” said Marietta Davis, general manager of Microsoft’s Greater Southeast District. “The Youth Villages grant will give at-risk youth the technology and training critical to success in the technology economy. I’ve been so impressed with the organization that I joined its national board of directors last year.”

Youth Villages Oregon is a new name for a nonprofit organization that has been helping children and families live successfully in the state since 1859. Formed last year through the merger of ChristieCare and the national nonprofit Youth Villages, the organization provides Intercept intensive in-home and residential services to children with emotional and behavior problems and their families.

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