Telemedicine: A lifeline for rural health care

Holley Carlson had good news from her physician following a checkup in February 2009 : a clean bill of health.

It’s nothing earth-shattering for most women her age. But Carlson is in a league of her own. Six months earlier, the otherwise healthy 44-year-old dodged a cerebrovascular bullet when Jefferson Healthcare Emergency Room physicians teamed up telephonically with neurologists from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, a part of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle to diagnose a severe blockage in her carotid artery. Continue reading

CAH HIT Grant Implementation Updates

An official kick off for the CAH HIT Grant project began in August 2008 with chosen vendor, Orion Health. Since this time, Forks Community Hospital has taken the place of Whidbey General Hospital. Forks Community Hospital (Forks, WA) will join Jefferson Healthcare (Port Townsend, WA) and Morton General Hospital (Morton, WA) to implement the health information exchange. Continue reading

FLEX CAH HIT Grant – Vendor Selected!

In July 2008, a vendor for the CAH HIT Grant was chosen. We proudly announce that Orion Health will be working with the three WWRHCC Critical Access Hospitals, Jefferson Healthcare (Port Townsend, WA), Whidbey General (Coupeville, WA), and Morton General (Morton, WA) to implement a health information exchange. Over the course of the coming months, Orion Health will be utilizing their expertise to bring this exchange to life. If you would like to know more about Orion Health, please visit their web site athttp://www.orionhealth.com.

FLEX CAH HIT Grant Update

In September 2007, the WWRHCC was awarded the FLEX CAH HIT Grant in the amount of $1.4 million dollars on behalf of the Washington State Department of Health – Office of Community and Rural Health. The primary focus of this grant will be to build a health information exchange between three of the WWRHCC Critical Access Hospitals and each of their respective Rural Health Clinics for the purposes of Telepharmacy and to provide elect information to Harborview Medical Center (Seattle, WA). The three Critical Access Hospitals (CAH’s) chosen were Jefferson Healthcare (Port Townsend, WA), Whidbey General (Coupeville, WA), and Morton General (Morton, WA).  Continue reading

The Wild Winds of 2007

The town of Ilwaco, WA is already used to having high winds (think 80 to 90 mph) but when the winds reached 130 mph on December 2nd, 2007 the staff at Ocean Beach Hospital knew they were in for a wild ride. The Astoria Bridge, one of the most well–traveled bridges and main thoroughfares into town was closed for several hours at one point. No cell phones or long distance phone calls were made. Logs blocked roadways while many others were shut down. Continue reading

Baird Secures Funding for Pharmacy Programs in Rural Communities in SW Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One of the biggest challenges facing the country is health care; and in rural communities a lack of access to care is compounded by a shortage of doctors, pharmacists, and allied health care professionals. To help address part of the problem, Congressman Brian Baird (WA-03) secured $550,000 for the Western Washington Rural Health Care Collaborative (WWRHCC) to implement a telepharmacy program. The funding was included in the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act Conference Report for 2008.
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WWRHCC Awarded 1.4 Million Dollar HRSA Grant

The WWRHCC as a subcontractor to the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Community and Rural Health was awarded a 1.4 million dollar grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility program. This grant, one of only seventeen awarded in the United States will focus on the development of aCAH-HIT Network in Washington State. For more information, open this attachment: Grant Abstract

USDA Awards More Than $22.3 Million for Telemedicine, Distance Learning Grants

Acting Agriculture Secretary Conner today announced the selection of 78 grant recipients for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants totaling $22.3 million in 31 states.

“These grants connect rural communities to educational programs and medical services that bridge the miles between doctors and patients and provide classroom teaching at the touch of a button,” said Conner.
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Mark Reed’s New Leader Enthusiastically Takes the Reins

Mark Reed Hospital and Grays Harbor Public Hospital District No. 1’s new chief executive officer, Renee Dunham, who began Aug. 1 after her longtime predecessor Jean Roberts retired, has no problem with small towns. She grew up in one – Monroe (though the town northeast of Seattle’s been growing.)

Photo of Renee DunhamBefore coming to McCleary, Dunham, 30, worked for seven years at a hospital in the Eastern Washington town of Dayton, northeast of Walla Walla. Dayton is smaller than Monroe and just a bit larger than McCleary. Continue reading