Improving Health Outcomes for Children in Rural Kentucky Schools Through Telehealth Networks

  • Norton, James (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The project includes: (1)a rural, community health center (FQHC) wIth .d~nt~lcImIc.and 340(b) phannacy - Lewis County Primary Care Center (LCPCC), (2)two Rural Health Clinics in publIc schools, (3) ten rural public school clinics, (4) Gateway and Buffalo Trace Health Departments providing school health nurses; non-profit hospitals, (5)St. Claire Regional Medical Center (SCRMC) a regional hospital and affiliated clinics, Fleming County Hospital (FCH), small rural hospital, (6) University of Kentucky Medical Center (UKMC). The program wiUprovide chronic disease management for children with asthma, diabetes, hypertension, oral health, mental health problems, and primary care consults for acute illness. Northeast Area Health Education Center (AHEC) educational programming will inform students and rural clinicians. LCPCC wiU integrate medical information systems with network partners. TeleCare will continue using open architecture, interoperable systems, connecting industry-standard video systems anywhere worldwide. Service Area: The network includes three counties 1,116 square miles with 50,058 citizens. Except UKMC, all sites are rural; six are in HPSA's; two are partial HPSA's; seven are in MUA's; thirteen are in Mental Health HPSA's, and six are in Dental HPSA's. One site is a FQHC, and two are licensed Rural Health Clinics within public schools. The project's ten schools have 60.4 % children eligible for :tree/reduced lunch, compared with the state's 47%. Kentucky's per capita income is $18,093 compared with Lewis ($12,031), Fleming ($14,214), Rowan ($13,889) counties. Kentuckian percentage below poverty is 15.8% compared with Lewis (28.5%), Fleming (18.6%), Rowan (21.3%) counties. Needs, Objectives, Outcomes: As evident, needs in this population for health services are severe. This project targets schoolchildren in ten public school clinics, providing clinical and educational support to help combat chronic problems of juvenile diabetes, obesity, hypertension, smoking, mentallbehavioral health problems, and other risk factors producing negative health outcomes. Goals of this project are ultimately improved health status of rural Kentuckians, secondly improved access to health care services, and to provide health information to school children. Secondary goal objectives are described in two general categories. Using telehealth technology in participating schools, (1) improve access to preventative health information and chronic disease support, and (2) improve access to primary care and specialists as needed. To assess effectiveness, we have described a series of quasi experimental studies that will allow determination of telehealth effects on various outcomes including health status, health care utilization, and health knowledge. A third goal has been identified to improve bioterrorism preparedness among rural communities by using telehealth to increase access to vital programming. The fourth goal is the technical and physical completion of the network. Telehealth Services: Interactive videoconference network will provide urgent patient consultations for acute care by SCRMC and LCPCC physicians. Specialists :tromUKMC will provide dermatology, pediatric cardiology and child psychiatry consultations. LCPCC will expand ~lectron.icpatien~ information to enhance clinical activities. SCRMC, LCPCC and health department staffwtll provIde ongoing chromc disease management for schoolchildren with previously mentioned conditions. Additional Activities: Rowan County schools may conduct staff meetings and all network sites can access education :tromNortheast AHEC and UK.
Effective start/end date9/1/038/31/04


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