Flagstaff Medical Center receives $124,000 USDA grant to extend telehealth program to rural physicians

June 24, 2013

Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) recently received a $124,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the innovative work it is doing through its extensive telehealth programs and outreach. The grant connects cardiologists and pulmonologists to rural providers and patients by providing physician-to-physician consultations and virtual patient clinic visits through direct video conferencing.

“This grant is enhancing our ability to offer coordinated care across rural regions of Northern Arizona, providing patients better access to specialists and allowing for improved continuity of care delivery,” said Dena Wilson, M.D., cardiologist, Indian Health Service Native American Cardiology Program at FMC. “With this technology, patients will be able to visit their closest clinic to receive specialized care from a cardiologist or pulmonologist who is able to work directly with the patient and primary care team to develop a treatment plan.”

FMC will use grant funds to purchase and deliver new GlobalMed telemedicine carts to be placed at the rural Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribally-governed healthcare facilities and clinics in Tuba City, Peach Springs, Pinon and Havasupai, on the floor of the Grand Canyon. Additionally, a cart will be placed at Little Colorado Medical Center in Winslow.

Specialists can consult with rural physicians to help prevent, diagnose and treat many common chronic health conditions like coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension and emphysema, among others. The state-of-the-art equipment includes a 30-inch monitor and zoom camera that serves as an interactive clinical assessment tool. The telemedicine connection allows physicians to securely send and receive patient images and information via digital stethoscopes for heart and lung assessments and hand-held exam cameras.

“This project launches a model of care that transcends traditional medicine, using the latest technology to care for patients beyond the walls of the hospital,” said William Bradel, Flagstaff Medical Center president and CEO. “The grant funds will allow us to partner with other healthcare facilities and physicians to reach into outlying areas where healthcare is most needed. We are honored to be working with the USDA, IHS and rural healthcare providers.”

FMC is a non-profit subsidiary of Northern Arizona Healthcare. As Northern Arizona’s only regional referral center, FMC cares for more than 85,000 patients each year. FMC provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art healthcare from diagnostic outpatient services to open heart surgery. Additionally, FMC is Arizona’s only Level I Trauma Center and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit north of Phoenix. To learn more about programs and services offered at Flagstaff Medical Center, visit