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Ohio Valley Physicians gets telemedicine service grant for Lawrence, other counties

LEXINGTON, Ky. —The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky announced today over $2 million in telemedicine and distance learning investments across the area, including Lawrence County.

These four telemedicine and two distance learning projects will help improve health outcomes and education in rural areas, which are seeing higher infection and death rates related to COVID-19 due to several factors, including a much higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care, and lack of health insurance.

Ohio Valley Physicians Inc. will use a $429,841 grant to provide telehealth services Lawrence, Gallia, and Scioto counties in Ohio; Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin and Pike counties in Kentucky; Cabell, Mingo, Jackson and Logan counties in West Virginia; and Buchanan County in Virginia. Each site will have a dedicated telehealth room equipped with a large interactive touchscreen monitor, computer, camera and printer.

Each hub or hub/end-user site will have two dedicated providers who will be provide telehealth services to patients at end-user sites. This project also will provide substance misuse treatment services.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency that requires an historic federal response. These investments by the Biden Administration will help millions of people living in rural places access health care and education opportunities that could change and save lives,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is helping rural America build back better using technology as a cornerstone to create more equitable communities. With health care and education increasingly moving to online platforms, the time is now to make historic investments in rural America to improve quality of life for decades to come.”

Funding for these projects comes through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program, which helps rural education and health care entities remotely reach students, patients and outside expertise. These capabilities make world-class education and health care opportunities accessible in rural communities.