Rural counties gain additional access to healthcare | NevadaAppeal.com

Rural counties gain additional access to healthcare

Special to the LVN

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development has announced that residents in 15 of Nevada's rural and frontier counties including Churchill County will gain access to healthcare through recently approved federal broadband grants.

"Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently awarded $40 million nationwide for 128 Distance Learning Telemedicine (DLT) projects in 40 states," said State Director Phil Cowee. "Two of those projects were approved here in Nevada, and they will provide access to healthcare to medically underserved areas in some of our most remote and rural counties for 65,539 people."

In Northern Nevada, the Governor's Office of Science Information and Technology worked with Renown Health on a project that was approved for a $439,312 grant for its Telehealth and Healthcare Education Expansion Project. As a result, health care services will be expanded to 11 sites in eight frontier counties, benefiting 45,000 rural Nevadans.

In addition, Valley Health LLC received a $164,137 grant to provide three years of tele-health services to prison patients at seven Department of Corrections conservation camps in rural areas.

"This year's Distance Learning Telemedicine Grant provided enhanced priority points for Opioid Response," Cowee said. "I am especially glad to see that these telehealth services including primary care as well as substance abuse care, treatment and education will now be available in areas that previously had no such services."

Renown Health's Telehealth and Healthcare Education Expansion program will be provided via two metropolitan hub-only sites, and eleven medically underserved end-user sites. Each site will receive a telehealth cart/with scoping peripheral devices that enable live, interactive consults via high-definition portals.

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Primary care, specialty care, acute services, behavioral health care, and substance misuse care and treatment, inclusive of opioid care, will be available. Behavioral and substance abuse care services will be delivered through integrated distance learning classroom centered around video conferencing, HD cameras and 80-inch monitors. In addition, the project will deliver professional development, health and wellness programs, and enable paramedics in these rural communities to connect to Renown Health acute care facilities to provide emergent care, under the supervision of a physician.

Primary beneficiaries will be rural, underserved residents in the following counties: White Pine, Pershing, Nye, Douglas, Lyon, Washoe, Lander and Churchill and will include Lovelock Colony and the Ely Tribe Health Clinic.

For information on the USDA Rural Development Distance Learning Telemedicine Grant Program visit Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants/USDA Rural Development.