Rural Health Update

I had a great day this past Wednesday at the Virginia Rural Health Collaborators Conference in Lexington, VA.  Lexington is a beautiful Historic town that is the location of Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute.  Just outside of town is the Virginia Horse Center, an amazing facility that includes the Andersen Coliseum where we met for the day.

The day began with State Senator R. Creigh Deeds from that area of Virginia giving a keynote presentation.  Senator Deeds is committed to the rural areas of Virginia and helping them grow and thrive.  He mentioned Telehealth as a way to do that. “Telemedicine is something that holds great promise”  He says as a way to deal with issues such as provider shortages and barriers to access to quality care.

The next speaker was Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association.  He mentioned problems facing rural America such as Opioid Addiction and hospital closures, but he is also optimistic.  One of his reasons for optimism is the rise of telehealth.  “We need to advocate for Telehealth Policies that make sense,” he says, “and that includes broadband access”.

There were breakout sessions and I spent some time talking to people from VCU, Radford and other Universities, People from Behavioral Health organziations, Rural Development organizations and more.  Overall it was time well spent.  I was happy to learn more and also share what knowledge I have about what telehealth can do to provide better care to the people who need it.  I even had some good conversations with Clint Carney, from Telmedx, who provides a different kind of telehealth service.  Let me know of you have any questions or any insight about reaching the people who need care in these rural areas.  I’d love to have a conversation with you.

Thank you VRHA!

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Dan Mountain

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