January 7, 2010

USDA Grant Helping Hospital Expand Telehealth Services

Scotland County Hospital CEO, Marcia Dial, recently announced the hospital districtís award of a $62,622 USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) grant.

Dial said, ďThe hours of dedication to research this grant are an effort of the Hospitalís staff and administration. We are so pleased to be awarded these grant monies that will be used to purchase telehealth equipment to expand the locations of telehealth services offered by the Hospital.Ē

Primarily, this grant will electronically connect the Hospital with Memphis Medical Services, Lancaster Medical Services and Scotland County Pharmacy. The grant will also be used to upgrade video conferencing equipment. The equipment is used for telehealth services which provides easier, closer and safer access to prescriptions and specialty services to residents in Scotland and Schuyler counties.

Telehealth and telepharmacy projects are an effective way to reduce healthcare access barriers in rural areas by improving overall quality of care, reducing wasteful travel time while assisting local healthcare consumers in receiving necessary care without lengthy, costly travel. Additionally, Memphis Medical Services and Lancaster Medical Services clinic providers will have access to specialists currently on staff at Scotland County Hospital. Specialties include, but are not limited to food safety, nutrition, obesity, physical and occupational therapy and fitness.

Physicians will be able to prescribe some basic medications that will be available at the clinics.

Neill McKee, owner of the Scotland County Pharmacy said, ďThis equipment will provide remote access to a pharmacist consultation in these clinics.Ē

Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development and Jessica Zufolo, Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Service recently announced the awards as part of the 60th anniversary of the Rural Utilities Services program delivering broadband, telecommunication and distance learning services to people in rural areas of Missouri. Scotland County Hospital CEO, Marcia Dial, attended the grant awards program in Columbia and received the check.

Other recipients of the grants in Missouri were: Citizens Memorial Hospital District - $500,000, Worth County R-III School District - $321,931, and McDonald County R-1 School District - $143,001.

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