Assistance with virtual visits and technology is available at the VA


Have you ever had patients say that virtual visits and technology are difficult? Have your patients avoided virtual visits due to their lack of comfort with virtual care? Have your patients ever asked for a resource center or for someone to practice virtual sessions with to overcome any challenges? The Veterans Health Administration has numerous approaches to help veterans with virtual care and technology adoption.

Arizona Telemedicine Program’s Janet Major selected as American Telemedicine Association Fellow

Janet Major, Associate Director for Innovation and Digital Health at the Arizona Telemedicine Program, with William "Bill" Paschall, Senior Vice President with Clear Arch Health; Chuck Doarn, American Telemedicine Association College of Fellows Chair; and Teresa Rincon, Senior Telehealth Consultant with Blue Cirrus Consulting and Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Graduate School of Nursing.

Janet Major, Associate Director for Innovation and Digital Health at the Arizona Telemedicine Program, based at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, was recently honored as an American Telemedicine Association Fellow during the American Telemedicine Association annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, March 5, 2023.

Each year the Association recognizes members of distinction as new Fellows. Election to the American Telemedicine Association College of Fellows recognizes significant achievements in telemedicine, service to the general telemedicine community, and service to the Association. Joining Major in this year’s class of Fellows are William "Bill" Paschall, Senior Vice President with Clear Arch Health, and Teresa Rincon, Senior Telehealth Consultant with Blue Cirrus Consulting and Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Graduate School of Nursing.

The Data Challenge to Prove Telehealth’s Importance Continues

Lead image of report pages

The group chose to focus initially on video visits for those in need of mental health care.  We succeeded in step one: we surveyed 16 mental health provider organizations to find out what data they were collecting, and how success was being measured in 2020.  The organizations ranged from large university medical centers to private practices in nine states.  Not surprisingly, the data and metrics varied widely, even across large university-based systems.

Libraries Add Telehealth to the Rural Communities They Serve


In the early days of the Covid pandemic, Dianne Connery realized something needed to be done for people in her rural Texas community to help connect folks to their medical appointments.

Connery, director of the Pottsboro Area Library in Pottsboro, Texas, said it started when one woman with pulmonary disease came to the library for help, desperate to meet with her doctor but too high risk to come to his office—a two-hour drive south to Dallas.

Second Annual Telehealth Awareness Week Grows in Partnerships and Messaging


It’s the start of Telehealth Awareness Week, and Ann Mond Johnson, American Telemedicine Association CEO, is beaming as she reflects on the growth of this second annual event.

“The number of endorsing partners for this second Telehealth Awareness Week has doubled (since the first),” Mond Johnson says, adding that the first had 25 endorsing partners, and this year’s has grown to 50, including organizations like Easter Seals, and the Association of American Medical Colleges. “To us, this means the messages that telehealth is important, needed, and accepted are being heard.”

Telemedicine & Telehealth: For Allied Health Professionals, Too

Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski, PhD, Janet Major-Durkel, Melanie Esher-Blair and Peggy Stein lead the  Occupational and Physical Therapy Webinar Series late last month

According to a recent study, one in five adults polled about health care during the coronavirus pandemic said that they or someone in their household delayed receiving medical care or were unable to get care, due to office closures or shutdowns.

Although the pollsters focused questions about doctor or dental appointments, providers across the board experienced disruption in their specialty areas, including Peggy Stein, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, an Occupational Therapist in Oregon.

Money, money, money! FCC Helps Low-income Households Pay for Broadband Service and Connected Internet Devices


We’ve all seen lots of reports from a variety of source documenting how telemedicine use has skyrocketed during the COVID public health emergency. There have also been many subsequent reports on the significant disparities in access to and use of telemedicine that were revealed and/or exacerbated by COVID. A simple search of Google Scholar brings up thousands of articles from around the world summarizing digital divide and related challenges that have been exposed, and many of them highlight some very creative strategies to help address and reduce barriers to telemedicine care. How can we offer a telemedicine option to someone who does not own a digital device? To someone who does but must choose between using their minutes to support their child’s remote school classes or see their doctor? Or someone who has access to the Internet but at limited bandwidth?

A Rural Perspective on COVID-19: The Wayne Community Health Center (Bicknell, Utah)

COVID-19 has overstayed it welcome for most of us. Everyone’s lives, across the nation and world, have changed drastically in the last nine months. While COVID-19 has impacted everyone, everyone’s experiences have been different. This summer, I had the privilege to speak to Carol Lewis about Yavapai county, Arizona’s experience and how rural centers are handing the pandemic. But even rural centers experience the effects of the pandemic differently from each other. To explore different experiences across the southwest, I reached out to The Wayne Community Health Center in the rural town of Bicknell, Utah. Bicknell is one of the 10 communities that make up Wayne County. Wayne county contains about 2,475 square miles (105 miles long and 23 miles wide) in south central Utah, 97% of which is federal and state land. The population of Wayne county is about 2700 and there is only one medical doctor in the county to serve them. Of 2700 people in Wayne county approximately 81% of them have health insurance. The demographic of the population is mostly Caucasian (91%), with the median age and income being 41 years and $45K respectively.

A Novel Way To Utilize Telehealth


I don’t use a smartphone to access Telehealth. Being a “tetraplegic” I have no use of my hands, so I invented a unique way to operate different electronic devices.
I created two styles of mouth sticks.
This one I use while in bed. It’s made from a quarter inch wooden dowel with both ends covered with surgical tubing. If you notice, one end is covered two and a half inches and the other a half inch. The longer end is for biting on and the other is to cushion the tip.
The second mouth stick I use while sitting up in my wheelchair. I can drive up to the desk I designed and park myself in front of my keyboard and computer. The mouth sticks I use while in my chair has a lucite bite impression the dentists made for me. I don’t use this type of mouth stick while laying down in bed because I can’t easily swivel the stick from side to side.