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Additional Funding Boosts California's Telehealth Network

September 16, 2010
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The new California Telehealth Network (Sacramento), a statewide, medical-grade broadband system for improving health-care access and emergency services, will receive a $9 million federal grant and additional $5 million in matching funds for the network from three prominent California organizations — the National Coalition for Health Integration, United HealthCare, and the California HealthCare Foundation — and from the University of California. The grant award announced today by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will fund telehealth and eHealth equipment and training for health-care providers implementing broadband-based technologies designed to improve care and expand access to services.

The new funding, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, follows $30 million from the Federal Communications Commission, the California Emerging Technology Fund and the California Public Utilities Commission to build and connect the network. The grant supports extensive online, in-person and community-based training in a range of technologies designed to increase the public’s digital literacy. It also will help fund network operations, as well as the installation of broadband equipment — typically consisting of a videoconferencing unit and special cameras to record clinical information — to establish new telehealth programs in various communities around the state.

UC Davis Health System, the lead agency for the grant, is overseeing much of the new network’s implementation, which includes plans to connect more than 800 health-care clinics and hospitals together in a system.

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