NEWPORT – North Country Hospital recently announced that it is the recipient of a $1 million grant, targeted at improving telehealth and distance learning across the community.
The grant is part of $42.3 million the United States Department of Agriculture is investing to help rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities.
North Country Hospital agreed to be the lead agency, and funding was requested for a number of local community providers, including Vermont Technical College, Orleans/Essex VNA, Newport Healthcare Center, Union House Nursing Home, Bel-Aire, Maple Lane Nursing Home, and Journey to Recovery Community Center.
Some examples of how the funding will be used at the hospital include a telemonitoring system for remote patient monitoring, additional laptops, iPads, and remote patient monitoring devices to enhance telemedicine, wireless networking through the facility to ensure connectivity, enhanced security tools, and secure text messaging to enhance communication between staff and patients.
“We are proud to have been selected as the only organization in Vermont to receive this funding, where these telehealth and infrastructure improvements are so needed,” said CEO Brian Nall.
The USDA says rural areas 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.