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Telehealth sites
A new federal grant extends the Missouri Telehealth Network's reach across the state by providing funding for new or expanded sites. In 2010, the network provided the resources for 7,000 interactive patient encounters in 31 medical specialties and saved more than 1.3 million miles of travel.

Thirty Missouri Sites to Receive New or Expanded Telehealth Services

Improved health care access will span the state, from Iowa's border to the Bootheel

The Missouri Telehealth Network is creating or expanding 30 additional sites across the state to provide medical care to rural patients who might otherwise not receive treatment. A new federal grant is supporting the network's efforts to create 11 new sites and expand services at 19 existing sites by this summer.

The Missouri Telehealth Network uses telecommunications technology to connect highly specialized physicians with rural patients. The expansion is funded by a $220,459 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Services Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, as well as contributions from the University of Missouri, Health Literacy Missouri and telehealth sites receiving new and updated technology.

"Thousands of patients in rural areas will have better access to specialty care providers without leaving their communities," said Rachel Mutrux, director of the Missouri Telehealth Network. "This expansion of telehealth services delivers health care to patients who might otherwise go untreated."

All telehealth sites are connected by live interactive video monitors, allowing health care providers to interact with patients in remote locations. However, some specialists require additional equipment to help make their diagnoses.

All 30 new or expanded sites will receive digital stethoscopes that allow cardiologists and other specialists to listen to a patient's heart or lungs over headphones when linked to another telehealth site anywhere in the state. New sites will receive a complete package of videoconferencing technology as well as digital cameras to capture high-quality images of the most minutely visible skin abnormalities and transmit them to dermatologists for expert diagnosis.

"Physicians in rural areas will be able to refer their patients to specialists and know that their patients will make their appointment without having to travel for hours," Mutrux said. "Rural physicians will also be able to collaborate with specialists, and they'll have convenient access to continuing medical education from the MU School of Medicine."

The University of Missouri School of Medicine established the Missouri Telehealth Network in 1994 to provide underserved and rural communities with access to health care specialists. With the addition of the 11 new telehealth sites, the network will have a total of 225 sites in 58 Missouri counties. In 2010, the network provided the resources for 7,000 interactive patient encounters in 31 medical specialties and saved more than 1.3 million miles of travel.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The locations of sites newly added to the Missouri Telehealth Network as well as those with updated technology are listed below in alphabetical order by city name.

New Site Missouri City
Cross Trails Medical Center Advance
Braymer Clinic Braymer
Cainsville Medical Clinic Cainsville
Hamilton Medical Clinic Hamilton
King City Clinic King City
Community Health Center of Central Missouri Linn
Mound City Clinic Mound City
Oregon Clinic Oregon
Iron County Medical Center Pilot Knob
Savannah Medical Clinic Savannah
Viburnum Medical Clinic Viburnum

Updated Technology Site Missouri City
Access Family Care Anderson
SEMO Health Network Bernie
Pershing Memorial Hospital Brookfield
Missouri Telehealth Network Columbia
Missouri Highlands Health Care Ellington
Hermann Area District Hospital Hermann
SEMO Health Network Kennett
Samaritan Hospital Macon
Loch Haven Nursing Home Macon
Sullivan County Memorial Hospital Milan
Nevada Regional Medical Center Nevada
SEMO Health Network New Madrid
SEMO Health Network Portageville
Central Ozarks Medical Center Richland
Phelps County Regional Medical Center Rolla
Salem Memorial District Hospital Salem
SEMO Health Network Sikeston
Putnam County Memorial Hospital Unionville
Southern Missouri Community Health Center West Plains

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