Flagstaff Medical Center receives $129,000 grant from USDA Rural Development Office

June 23, 2014

Flagstaff Medical Center recently received a $129,412 grant award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development office’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Program. The grant, “Northern Arizona Telemedicine: A Regional Chronic Disease Specialty Care Home,” will allow Flagstaff Medical Center to place new GlobalMed telemedicine carts at the following rural Indian Health Service and tribally-governed healthcare facilities and clinics:
• Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility
• Tsaile Health Center
• Hopi Health Care Center
• Kayenta Health Center
• Inscription House Health Center
• Winslow Indian Health Care Center

A cart also will be placed at Hildale Health Service Center in Hildale, Utah, for children needing care through FMC’s Children’s Rehabilitative Services program, a specialty pediatric outpatient clinic for children with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

Telemedicine carts, which cost about $30,000 each, allow for chronic disease care delivery at virtual clinics, including specialty care such as cardiology, pulmonary and wound care. Specialists can consult with rural physicians to help prevent, diagnose and treat many common chronic health conditions including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension and emphysema. The state-of-the-art equipment includes a 30-inch monitor and zoom camera, which serves as an interactive clinical assessment tool. The telemedicine connection allows physicians to securely send and receive patient images and information digitally.

“We’re honored to be a two-time recipient of this award,” said Gigi Sorenson, R.N., M.S.N. “The grants allow us to reach out and offer care across Northern Arizona. Connecting patients to their providers is our goal, and the Teleheath program helps fulfill that goal.”

The grant also will allow FMC to partner with the Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment Project, which aims to improve the overall health of high-risk patients living within the Navajo Nation. FMC plans to purchase 12 tablets for use by community health representatives and public health nurses on the reservation. The tablets will be used for patient education, documentation and communication between care providers.

This is the second time FMC has received this award. The first, in 2011, totaled $124,769. It allowed the hospital to place five telemedicine carts at Little Colorado Medical Center, Pinon Health Center, Tuba City Regional Health Care and Peach Springs Health Center, as well as the Supai Canyon Health Station.

Flagstaff Medical Center is part of Northern Arizona Healthcare, which also serves patients through Verde Valley Medical Center, Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare, Fit Kids of Arizona, Guardian Air, Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona, Northern Arizona Homecare and Hospice, Team Health and Verde Valley Medical Clinic.

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