The Center for Rural Development is championing a program to promote the use and enable the expansion of telehealth in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The Center has begun facilitating discussions with health departments and healthcare providers within our region to create an online telehealth support platform. As our way of life has been impacted by COVID-19, telehealth has become more critical than ever before as a means by which healthcare services can be accessed while providing the best care possible to patients. Few areas of the country are as impacted as rural Southern and Eastern Kentucky when it comes to quality healthcare.
A key component in improved telehealth access in rural communities is adequate broadband service. The KentuckyWired initiative is now of critical importance in this effort, as it is providing the backbone for high-speed internet services in areas that are either underserved or completely unserved. While telehealth is being utilized in parts of our region, we must now further implement, increase, and improve the access to telehealth and telemedicine throughout our region. In cooperation with our partners at SOAR and their CDC staffer, we will explore innovative ideas to meet this challenge. We are also exploring the resources available through USDA Rural Development to support this important work. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to contact The Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-677-6000 or visit www.centertech.com.