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The West Virginia Telehealth Alliance (WVTA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing telehealth use and telemedicine capabilities throughout the Mountain State. Participants in the alliance include hospitals, rural health care centers, medical schools (WVU, Marshall, CAMC, W.Va. School of Osteopathic Medicine), mental health centers, free clinics and major telecommunications companies.

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FCC Rural Health Care Pilot Program

The West Virginia Telehealth Alliance is one of 69 organizations across the U.S. that was selected to participate in the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program. As such, the WVTA will have approximately $9.7 million in state and federal funds to improve broadband connectivity among eligible health care entities in the state. Click here to learn more about the FCC’s pilot program.

Click to see map of RHCPP locations across West Virginia.

Highlights

RHCPP Broadband Enhancements

The West Virginia Telehealth Alliance received approval for federal funding for contracts under its RFP for Internet and Wide Area Network (WAN) telecommunications services and Internet access. This RFP covers 93 eligible health care centers that are getting enhancements made to their broadband and network connections. Click to see map. These broadband enhancements will be completed in late 2012.

The broadband improvements will help foster greater use of telehealth applications, facilitate expansion of electronic health records and allow for new tele-learning and research opportunities for the state’s rural medical community.

Metro Fiber Build Project

Now completed, this metro fiber project is providing a metropolitan fiber connection environment (1 gig) to facilitate eligible health care services at and among these institutions:
– Marshall University (for its health education programs, courses)
– Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
– St. Marys Medical Center
– Cabell-Huntington Hospital

Benefits:

1) Provide advanced broadband interconnection among these institutions for the exchange of health information and health education purposes
2) Allow rural health centers to access remotely (via telehealth) the physicians and specialists at these interconnected organizations
3) Provide a fiber connection point to bring Internet2 service into the state, particularly into central and southern West Virginia.

Click to read Capacity Magazine article on this project.

The WVTA’s broadband enhancement projects are being done as part of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Project, which will establish a dedicated broadband health care network that will enable 100+ eligible institutions/centers across the state to improve the delivery of health care services to rural areas.

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