2012 Archive

Wabash Valley Rural Telehealth Network Website Goes Live

The Wabash Valley Rural Telehealth Network has recently been made available online at www.ruraltelenet.org. The network, which was founded by Union Hospital's Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health (Lugar Center), includes members from multiple health care organizations and specialty practice sites throughout the region. The sites participate in Live Video Interactive (LVI) telehealth to make specialty health services more accessible to patients in rural areas. The new website will give both visitors and members better access to important telehealth information, resources and tools.

Telehealth is a concept on the rise in recent years with so many health-related risk factors and poverty facing rural communities. There are numerous barriers to accessing specialty healthcare services that telehealth is able to bypass. “It's an exciting time in medicine to have the technology to bridge the gap of accessibility, affordability and availability of healthcare services to people in rural areas," said Stephanie Laws, Telehealth & Innovations Technologies Manager at the Lugar Center.

The Lugar Center first began utilizing technology to advance rural health in 1999, with a program called Ruralconsult.com. Since then telehealth services at the Lugar Center have been further expanded and grant-funded through the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Formally established in 2010, The Wabash Valley Rural Telehealth Network has continually garnered national attention for its technological services that integrate evidence-based practice and provide patients with quality specialty care.

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michelle-smith“Telemedicine has allowed our patients to receive the care they need right here in Sullivan, IN. In our current challenging economic times, the more dollars we are able to retain locally the better off our community will be.”

- Michelle Franklin, CEO
Sullivan County
Community Hospital