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July 9, 2014

Federal grant to help frail, critically ill patients receive care

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A $253,330 federal grant will enable the University of Virginia Center for Telehealth to more easily connect UVA doctors with frail, seriously ill patients at nine locations in Central Virginia.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will connect medical specialists through secure videoconferencing links with patients at senior centers, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and dialysis centers that are long distances from a hospital. The centers are located in Dillwyn, Farmville, Lovingston and Zion Crossroads along with the counties of Greene, Louisa and Orange.

“We are thrilled to offer access to UVA specialists through telemedicine for patients in dialysis and in skilled nursing facilities,” said Karen Rheuban, MD , director of the UVA Center for Telehealth. “For so many of these patients with chronic illness or those recovering in nursing facilities, accessing specialty care or follow-up visits can be a challenge.”

By providing more timely access to care, UVA hopes to provide better treatment for these patients while improving their quality of life through less travel for doctor’s appointments and fewer hospitalizations.

“This supports patients by reducing unnecessary readmissions, improves access to specialty care, allows for early intervention, enables screening and, we hope, reduces costs while improving clinical outcomes,” said David C. Gordon , director of the UVA Office of Telemedicine.

New Telemedicine Locations

The nine centers receiving enhanced medical services through the telemedicine grant are:

Betty J. Queen Intergenerational Center, Louisa County Dogwood Village of Orange County Grace Health and Rehabilitation Center, Greene County Heritage Hall Dillwyn Louisa Health and Rehabilitation Center Lovingston Health and Rehabilitation Center The Woodland, Farmville UVA Dialysis – Orange UVA Dialysis – Zion Crossroads

These locations will join the UVA Center for Telehealth’s network of more than 100 telemedicine locations across Virginia.

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