Connecting to Care Wins Two Awards

Modoc County Model eHealth Community Project

“This award brings tremendous benefits for a hospital like ours,” said Wanda Grove, administrator for Modoc County’s Surprise Valley Community Hospital, located in a remote part of Northeastern California and considered to be the smallest hospital in the state. “It will enable us to expand and enhance our existing technologies in ways that complement everything from electronic medical records to distance learning.”  Grove, whose hospital will receive its telehealth equipment through the nonprofit organization Connecting to Care, added: “Without good and secure telemedicine connections, residents here have to travel a minimum of 3.5 hours to be seen by a specialist. If others can learn from our eHealth efforts here in Cedarville, then this award will benefit not only local residents but people around the state.”

“We are thrilled to be part of this important statewide initiative and it could not come at a better time,” said Susan Ferrier, Executive Director of Connecting to Care, the Lead Agency and Project Manager. “The award not only enables us to enhance health access and quality care for residents throughout Modoc County, it is an honor to recognized as an organization that can provide a model for innovations in health care that other communities can use in the future.”

As awardees, Canby Family Practice, Modoc County Mental Health, Modoc Medical Center, Strong Family Health Center, Surprise Valley Hospital District, Warner Mountain Tribal Clinic will all be implementing such diverse eHealth applications as remote specialty and critical care consultations between local health providers and specialists affiliated with academic medical centers; telemedicine health management; health education for consumers and continuing education for health-care professionals; as well as health-care workforce development programs. It is an initiative that will provide benefits well beyond just the 15 community groups who were awarded funding.

“We are excited to partner with Modoc County,” said Jana Katz-Bell, who is directing the project for UC Davis Health System. “It brings together a variety of community interests and represents exactly the model we need to help lead the way for others. Modoc County’s rural health providers will pioneer new approaches in health care and ensure that California can integrate the latest health-related technologies in communities throughout the state.”

Additionally, the Modoc County Public Library will receive two computers to allow county residents access to eHealth and chronic disease management information.  County residents will also have access to their personal health records (PHR) and the grant will provide community access to establishing their own PHR which is controlled entirely by the patient in regards to providing access to health providers and insurance companies.  Information will be coming on public informational meetings and workshops on developing your own Personal Health Record.

The Model eHealth Communities project and its related eHealth Broadband Training Program are funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The initiative has received matching funds from the California HealthCare Foundation, National Coalition for Health Integration, University of California, and United Healthcare.

Coinciding with the Model eHealth Community awards is the launch of an online training curriculum specifically designed to support the transition to technology-enabled health and health care. The new online program, accessed through the eHealth Broadband Adoption Training website (http://ehealthtraining.extensiondlc.net/), offers courses in the following areas:  California Telehealth Network Orientation, Broadband Adoption, Telehealth, Consumer and Clinical Health Informatics, Electronic Health Records/ Health Information Exchange Adoption, and Change Management.

Consumers also will benefit from the training program because its educational materials will be available in local libraries, community colleges and at community centers.

For more information about the Modoc Model eHealth Communities program, please contact:

Susan Ferrier, Executive Director

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