More Telehealth Clinics Open in Rural Schools

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Officials held a ribbon-cutting for a clinic at Southwestern Jefferson Elementary School in Austin. (Image courtesy of the Indiana Rural Health Association.) Officials held a ribbon-cutting for a clinic at Southwestern Jefferson Elementary School in Austin. (Image courtesy of the Indiana Rural Health Association.)

A high-tech approach to medical care for rural school children continues to take hold throughout the state. Three more telehealth clinics -- located in Crothersville, Austin and Hanover -- are now providing services to students on school grounds. The grand openings this week follow the Indiana Rural School Clinic Network's debut earlier this year in Elwood. The program is driven by the Linton-based Indiana Rural Health Association.

Community Health Outreach Program Manager Jennifer Hill says rural children, parents and schools are already experiencing positive outcomes and demand for the clinics continues to grow. The program has gone so well, Hill says over the next four years, it could have a footprint that covers the state and beyond. "We might eventually even look at partnering with neighboring states, because we have had some interest in that," Hill says. "We're hoping not to leave any region (in the state) out by the time this grant is finished in four years."

North Vermillion, Delaware, Henry, Jay and Jennings County Schools are next in the program's pipeline. The IRHA says Indiana has lagged other states in this technology, but new laws at the state level and federal funding has helped clear the way for the effort.

Inside INdiana Business Television featured the IRSCN initiative's kick-off in Elwood in October in the Business of Health:

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