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Rural Mental-Health Telehealth Initiative Receives $100,000 in Funding

February 26, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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A telehealth initiative in Idaho providing mental health services to a remote population of at-risk patients is receiving a $100,000 grant from Premier Inc., the Charlotte, N.C.-based healthcare alliance.

The grant, called “The Cares Award” aims to recognize exemplary efforts by not-for-profit community organizations to improve the health of populations in need. The Telepsychiatry Improves Outcomes in Frontier Communities, based in Orofino, Idaho, provides telehealth services to pediatric psychiatric patients who lack access to care in this frontier region.

“Every year our Cares Award program honors six organizations that are helping to care for a medically underserved population in their community,” Susan DeVore, Premier’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Through its remarkable services to help some of the most at-risk patients, this year’s Cares Award recipient – Telepsychiatry Improves Outcomes in Frontier Communities – is making a true impact by delivering psychiatry services using telehealth.”

The initiative, led by Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics in Orofino and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, connects those patients with psychiatrists more than 200 miles away help treat patients in rural Orofino and neighboring St. Mary's Hospital in Cottonwood, Idaho. Those providers chart directly into the electronic medical record (EMR) system at local clinics. The cost of care for those in the program has decreased by more than half.

Runner-up contestants received $24,000 in grant funding.



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