Nearly $ 2 Million in Rescue Funds Goes to Local Health Care Providers | Local News

Nearly $ 2 million in pandemic relief funds will help Vidant Health expand remote patient monitoring services and Greene County Health Care to open a community health center in Snow Hill.

Vidant Health and Greene County Health Care are among 10 Congressional District 1st healthcare providers to receive funding to help them meet the challenges they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Representative GK said Butterfield, who represents District 1. The money goes through the US bailout.

Vidant Health receives $ 897,000 from the Federal Communications Commission COVID-19 Telehealth Program Fund. The healthcare system will use the money to purchase remote patient monitoring equipment to assess and treat patients with and without COVID-19 symptoms, monitor chronic disease and improve patient care.

“The remote patient monitoring equipment and platform purchased by this fund will enable us to provide access to clinical care and services to patients at home in the large rural area served by Vidant Health,” said Todd Hickey, director of clinical network development.

Treating more patients remotely will reduce the risk of exposing patients and providers to the virus and free up the capacity of hospitals for people who cannot be treated remotely, he said.

The equipment will include interactive tablets for audio and visual connection with patients as well as peripheral devices such as a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, pulse oximeter, glucometer, thermometer and scale, Hickey said. . The tools will help providers monitor chronic diseases such as heart failure, obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and hypertension, as well as acute exacerbations of disease and associated treatments.

They will also monitor and treat patients confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, Hickey said. Patients’ temperature, oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and lung sounds will be reported to a monitoring clinician for evaluation. Obtaining this information helps doctors determine the treatment a person needs at home.

“This would allow space and resources to increase access to health services for patients who require a higher level of care than can be safely provided outside of a clinic. facility / clinic, ”Hickey said. “In addition, remote monitoring of patients helps minimize the impact of social determinants of health, such as transportation needs, which impact many historically underserved populations in the Vidant Health Service area.”

Butterfield, D-Wilson, said telehealth support will ensure providers in eastern North Carolina have the technology to keep people healthy. The Carolina Community Health Center in Wilson received $ 1 million to purchase similar telehealth devices.

“Health care providers have quickly adapted to new modes of care delivery, such as telehealth, but in doing so, they have taken on a heavy economic burden in their efforts to serve their communities,” said Butterfield.

Greene County Health Care, which provides medical, dental and behavioral care in Greene, Pitt and Pamlico counties, will receive $ 917,329 from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

CEO Doug Smith said the funds will be used to renovate the old Walgreens building the agency bought at 1106 Kingold Blvd. at Snow Hill. The building, which is over 10,000 square feet, will become the headquarters of Snow Hill Integrated Care Services.

“We plan to offer medical care, mental health care, mammograms, laboratory services, medication assistance, case management and services to migrants and agricultural workers,” Smith said. The facility will bring the organization’s total number of treatment rooms to 12 and have space for another healthcare provider.

“This is the first step in our plans to expand our ability to serve residents of Greene County and eastern North Carolina,” Smith said. “This state-of-the-art facility will increase access to high-quality, affordable and integrated integrated care in our community.”

Renovation works are in progress. The center’s goal is to open the facility in the summer of 2022, but that will depend on factors such as the availability of materials and the weather, he said.

“Our community health centers have been on the front lines of this pandemic from day one, ensuring that our hardest hit communities are safe and protected,” Butterfield said. “Community health center funding provides people with affordable, cost-effective, high-quality preventive and primary health care services, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. “

More than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines and nearly 63 percent are racial / ethnic minorities, according to Butterfield.

Other community health centers in the 1st District of Congress that will receive funding:

  • Carolina Family Health Centers, Wilson: $ 706,877.
  • Gateway Community Health Centers, Gatesville: $ 522,055.
  • Goshen Medical Center, Faison: $ 1,080,118.
  • Metropolitan Community Health, Washington, North Carolina: $ 557,277.
  • Opportunities Industrialized Center, Rocky Mount: $ 602,597.
  • Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, Ahoskie: $ 677,084.
  • Rural Health Group, Roanoke Rapids – $ 912,863.

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