Lee Ann • March 16, 2016
The California Telehealth Network (CTN), led by President and CEO Eric Brown, is being honored by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) as a recipient of the 2016 Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications.
CTN is California’s leading agency focusing on increasing access to healthcare, including telehealth, telemedicine, and health information exchange, through the innovative use of technology. CTN is a product of an unprecedented coalition of stakeholders, including healthcare, technology, government agencies, and others. CTN and this large and diverse group of partners are working together to create a telecommunications infrastructure that allows California’s rural and urban communities access to a broad range of technology-enhanced services to improve the quality of healthcare services.
"CTN's technology has enabled us to connect critical specialty providers to our patients in a timely manner, creating an invaluable resource for our primary care doctors in a rural healthcare setting. This results in better health outcomes for our patients, right in their own community,” said Bryan M. Gregory, director of Clinical Operations Radiology & Telemedicine at Eastern Plumas Health Care.
An independent non-profit 501c3, CTN was initially funded through the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program, which provided CTN with up to $22.1 million, the largest single state award of its kind. Additional funding has been provided by the California Emerging Technology Fund, the California HealthCare Foundation, the California Teleconnect Fund, the National Coalition for Health Integration, UnitedHealth Group and the University of California.
"CTN can help ensure that healthcare providers in rural and medically underserved communities in California are not left behind," said Steven Henry, senior director of Treasury Investment Management at UnitedHealth Group.
CTN has partnered with CENIC and CENIC’s associate members from academic medical centers since its inception and, together, the organizations work to ensure that all Californians have access to quality health care and education.
"Being a member of the CTN has been critical to the success of Tarzana Treatment Centers' telehealth program. Beyond the great applications and network access, CTN has been available for guidance in planning and promoting our program. CTN gave us a solid telehealth foundation to build upon,” said Tarzana Treatment Centers Director of Information Technology Jim Sorg, Ph.D.
CTN is California’s authorized FCC broadband consortium for healthcare. It has priority access to the FCC’s Healthcare Connect fund for California healthcare providers and began enrolling providers in the program in April 2013. CTN’s goal is to connect more than 1,000 California healthcare providers in underserved areas to a state- and nationwide broadband network dedicated to healthcare. CTN sites reported over 13,000 live virtual telemedicine consultations in 2015, for patients in rural and medically underserved urban California communities. These consultations generally enable patients to receive specialty care generally not available in their local community. CTN sites serve rural and medically underserved communities with populations of more than two million Californians.
"Organizations like the California Telehealth Network are bringing about a new era in patient-centered care,” said Richard Thomason, director of Healthcare and Coverage at Blue Shield of California Foundation.
During the past year, CTN provided subsidized broadband connections to more than 250 safety net clinics and hospitals in rural and medically underserved communities throughout California. These subsidies generate more than $5 million in annual broadband savings for safety net sites and are expected to triple over the next three years with CTN site growth.
"The California Telehealth Network has really helped facilitate diabetes consultations at our remote satellite clinic, in Point Arena," said Betty Arterberry, chief administrator officer of the Sonoma County Indian Health Project.
CTN has played a major role in shaping public policy, leading advocacy efforts to ensure inclusion of healthcare in FCC policy making regarding broadband leased access rules. CTN also spearheaded efforts at the California Public Utilities Commission that confirmed continued inclusion of safety net hospitals and clinics in the California Teleconnect Fund broadband subsidy program.
“CTN is the nation’s leading telehealth network and has been influential in shaping public policy — at the state and national levels — so that all Americans, regardless of where they live, have access to quality health care services. CTN’s members and CENIC’s academic medical center members, are leaders in the uses of advanced technologies to provide the highest quality health care to Californians,” said CENIC President & CEO Louis Fox.
Innovations in Networking Awards are presented each year by CENIC to highlight the exemplary innovations that leverage ultra high-bandwidth networking, particularly where those innovations have the potential to transform the ways in which instruction and research are conducted or where they further the deployment of broadband in underserved areas.
About CENIC • www.cenic.org
CENIC connects California to the world—advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers and other vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, and USC. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.
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