News Release
Release No.STELPRD4016846
ContactVicki Schurman402-437-5563
(JUNE 21, 2012) USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROVIDES FUNDS TO GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION TO FURTHER TELEMEDICINE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Kearney, Nebraska, Jun 21, 2012 --

@@Nebraska State Director for USDA Rural Development Maxine Moul and staff presented a plaque to Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation in Kearney, Nebraska today in celebration of the telemedicine funding of $253,345 awarded from USDA Rural Development. The funds will be used by Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation to expand telemedicine services to central Nebraska and Kansas through the Midwest Telehealth Network. The network currently has 21 rural hospitals in Nebraska and Kansas with Good Samaritan Hospital serving as the hub facility.

“Furthering telemedicine in rural Nebraska offers rural residents the health care offered in larger cities,” said Moul. “Having quality accessible health care is vital to rural residents.”

“Our Midwest Telehealth Network will utilize the grant funds to further expand the number of rural end point locations and the type of services available through our telehealth network,” said Manager, Grants & Special Projects, Lesley LaFile, Good Samaritan Hospital.

As part of the presentation, the network was demonstrated by connecting with the Lexington Regional Health Center in Lexington, NE.  Leslie Marsh, their CEO, joined through the connection, along with the Lexington Public School Superintendent and School Nurse.

The funds will purchase additional equipment that will introduce eight more locations, providing video end points for these rural clinics to connect to the telemedicine network. Patients accompanied by their rural clinicians and doctors will be able to link to Good Samaritan and other larger hospitals from their remote location and receive one‐to‐one consultation, medical training, and health care coordination. Nebraska sites are Howard County Community Hospital in St. Paul, Fillmore County Hospital in Geneva, St. Mary’s Hospital in Nebraska City, Lexington High School, Lexington Middle School and Morton Elementary School in Lexington. New Kansas sites are Rawlins County Hospital in Atwood and Decatur Health Systems in Oberlin.

The 2012 grant award is the 5th USDA grant for the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation on behalf of the Midwest Telehealth Network. Thanks to the USDA grants, the Midwest Telehealth Network has been able to grow from 11 rural end point sites in 2004 to what will be 29 rural end point sites in 2012.

“Funding made available through the USDA grant program has enabled our network to continue to grow and expand access to health care services in rural Nebraska and Kansas,” said LaFile.

Additionally, distance learning grants were awarded to Educational Service Unit 17 of Ainsworth, NE, Mid‐Plains Community College of North Platte, NE, and Educational Service Unit 16 of Ogallala, NE.

For more information on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program in Nebraska contact Andre Boening at 402-652-3446 or aboening@wdc.usda.gov.