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Helping health-care providers connect with patients in some of the most underserved areas of the Southwest is the mission of the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC), which recently received a $975,000 cooperative agreement grant from the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, a division of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant will fund the SWTRC from Sept. 1 through August 2020.
One of only 14 telehealth resource centers in the United States, the SWTRC was established in 2009 under the aegis of the Arizona Telemedicine Program, headquartered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. The SWTRC offers telehealth services to providers in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. The center assists start-up telehealth programs as well as existing programs in hospitals, clinics, public health offices and other programs and facilities that want to extend their services to underserved areas. Assistance can include advising programs on the types of telehealth equipment that would best serve their needs, developing a business and marketing plan and training telehealth staff.
Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), is principal investigator on the grant. He and Elizabeth A. Krupinski, PhD, serve as co-directors of the SWTRC, with Kristine A. Erps serving as associate director of administration. Along with the rest of the highly experienced ATP team, they provide expert advice and support to those interested in telemedicine in the Southwest.