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Telemedicine Grant Will Connect Health Professionals With Coquille Tribal Members

Indiana Public Radio

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

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. 


Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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