Copiah-Lincoln CC, MSU partner on telehealth grant

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, June 5, 2022

A consortium led by Mississippi State University’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems-Extension is working with area community colleges and healthcare systems to expand healthcare training and opportunities.

Backed by an $800,000 grant from the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of the U.S.  Department of Agriculture under its Delta Health Care Services Grant Program, CAVS-Extension launched the Delta BroadReach Healthcare project in 2020 in coordination with Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Hinds Community College, North Central Planning and Development District and area healthcare providers. In less than two years, the project has resulted in 191 health workers trained, improving processes at 60 hospitals and clinics, 186 patients served through telehealth services and 100 patients’ family members/caretakers being educated on telehealth services.

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As part of the grant, Copiah-Lincoln Community College purchased telehealth equipment and partnered with Franklin County Memorial Hospital Clinic to train healthcare professionals and patients on utilizing the devices. Currently, Co-Lin is wrapping up a video project with FCMH that will provide a “how-to” refresher video to accompany the equipment used by patients in the telehealth portion of the grant program. Additionally, this material will serve as a training tool for participating health workers.

Franklin County Memorial Hospital Clinic Manager Rhonda Terrell lists the advantages her facility has seen from the program: “This grant has been very beneficial to our practice, our community and especially our patients.  It has allowed us to monitor patient health issues in the patient’s home where they are the most comfortable.  We had a Chronic Care Management process in place, but with grant funding we were able to elevate the services we provided to our most vulnerable patients. We have been fortunate to form valuable relationships with our grant partners.”

The project builds on CAVS-E’s “lean hospitals” program that helps healthcare providers improve the quality of care for patients by reducing inefficiencies, errors and waiting times and improving healthcare and operational processes. To date, CAVS-Extension has administered the training to more than 600 healthcare employees in Mississippi.

“I am extremely proud of the impact this grant has made in the healthcare community, from EMT training to telehealth and improving processes at medical facilities,” said John Moore, CAVS-Extension principal investigator for the grant and Healthcare Lean Certificate instructor. “None of this would be possible without a strong network of partners to help carry out the goals of the project, and I want to thank everyone involved that has helped make a positive impact on healthcare in Mississippi.”

As partners enter the last months of the grant, Co-Lin and FCMH aim to complete grant service goals.

“As a healthcare professional with experience in the rural setting, I can fully appreciate the benefits of this grant to the patients, staff, and facility,” said Robin Mitchell, Co-Lin Community College workforce coordinator/trainer. “This technology allows patients to check routine vitals and safely upload the data into a medical chart without leaving home. We look forward to educating over 150 patients’ family members/caretakers, equipping, and serving 300 patients, and training over 50 health workers at Franklin County rural health care sites before the grant period ends.”