Abraham announces $1 million to expand telemedicine in rural Louisiana
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, announced Friday that the US Department of Agriculture has awarded grants in the amount of about $1 million to enhance delivery of medical services through telemedicine in 15 rural Louisiana parishes.
The grants were awarded through the USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program. The money will primarily be used to connect patients with behavioral health and specialty care providers at remote sites using interactive videoconferencing.
The parishes served by the grants have disproportionate percentages of vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly and minorities. They also have documented health care professional shortages and high percentages of uninsured residents.
“Telemedicine is another tool that modern technology has added to the health care equation. Patients in rural areas can’t always make it to a specialist. Telemedicine allows us to bring the doctor to them to make sure they get the treatment they need. I appreciate Sec. Sonny Perdue and the USDA for awarding these grants to help Louisiana’s vulnerable patients,” Dr. Abraham said.
The Franklin Parish Hospital Service District will receive $111,794 to purchase telemedicine equipment.
Primary Care Providers will receive $298,100 to fund a fixed site telemedicine project in four of the most rural and poor parishes in Louisiana. They include Tensas, Tangipahoa, Livingston, West Baton Rouge parishes.
The Winn Community Health Center will receive $277,672 to help fund the North Central Louisiana Telemedicine Program located at the health center in Winnfield. The program will connect to nine school-based health clinics and two community health centers in Winn, Grant and Bienville parishes.
Lafayette General Health Systems will receive $311,356 to help fund an expansion of the South Louisiana Telehealth Network with hubs in Lafayette, Breaux Bridge, Crowley and Kaplan. They will connect to 30 end-user sites located across St. Landry, Acadia, Vermilion, Evangeline, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Iberia parishes.