Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Office for Telehealth Education Launches

During the past five years, a collaboration between the South Carolina AHEC system and other partners has resulted in the creation of a robust telehealth network (SCHOOLS) capable of delivering educational programs to health professions students, healthcare providers, patients and community members across South Carolina. Thousands of individuals have taken advantage of the educational content delivered via multiple technologic modalities.

In addition, the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance, of which the South Carolina AHEC, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Greenville Health System, the Medical University of South Carolina, Palmetto Care Connections and Palmetto Health are founding partners, has come into existence in order to encourage statewide collaboration among providers in the delivery of health care, education and research. The establishment of the Telehealth Alliance has increased the need and opportunity for statewide telehealth initiatives and education about the use of telehealth resources.

Recently, the MUSC Center for Telehealth has been tasked with establishing telehealth services in South Carolina’s 46 counties. An early undertaking will be to develop resources for healthcare providers to become informed about how to use telehealth applications and advance collaborative patient care processes.

In response to these developments, the South Carolina AHEC established the Office for Telehealth Education this summer with funding from the MUSC Center for Telehealth. This new Office for Telehealth Education will formalize existing statewide collaborations and integrate the educational services supporting statewide telehealth networks. Recent activities include aiding Palmetto Care Connections with needs assessments, assisting with the annual South Carolina Telehealth Summit and working to ensure the continued availability of the PSPN broadband network to healthcare locations across the state. Educational program initiatives include the Wellness Connect telehealth weight management program and an upcoming training series with EMS personnel utilizing a new telehealth simulation center at MUSC.

The creation of the Office for Telehealth Education is a very positive development that emphasizes the contributions that the AHEC system has made and will continue to make to telehealth education. The Office will be located in the South Carolina AHEC Program Office in Charleston with a contractual agreement with the Center for Telehealth at MUSC.  The newly-named Director of Telehealth Education Dr. Ragan DuBose-Morris will provide direction and oversight for three additional education, communication and technical experts who will focus on increasing telehealth services across South Carolina.

For more information on the Office for Telehealth Education, please contact Dr. Ragan DuBose-Morris at duboser@musc.edu.

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