Telemedicine Grant Will Connect Health Professionals With Coquille Tribal Members

Nov 16, 2018

The Coquille Tribe has received a grant that it says will improve healthcare for its members, through technology. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Residents in rural areas - including some Indian reservations - can access medical professionals hundreds of miles away, via telemedicine.
Credit Indiana Public Radio / Flickr.com

More than $57,000 from the USDA is going to the tribe, to help develop a telemedicine system.  Computers, specialized software, and high-definition cameras will connect tribal members – many in remote, rural areas – to medical specialists hundreds of miles away.

Coquille Tribal spokesman Clark Walworth:

“It’s going to mean less waiting time for patients, and reduced travel. Sometimes it can be a real hardship for people to have to drive to Eugene, or Roseburg, or Portland to see a specialist," says Walworth. 

"So this allows them to do it right away with a specialist, wherever.  We think it’s going to bring better health outcomes.” 

Approximately 1300 tribal members are expected to have improved access to medical services, which include pain management, psychiatry, and substance abuse counseling.

 

The telemedicine project is part of a USDA program that’s awarded 40 million dollars in grants to rural communities nationwide. 

Copyright 2018, KLCC.