The grant comes as part of a larger investment of $72 million across the county to improve distance learning and telemedicine infrastructure in rural areas. The new program run by Garrett Regional Medical Center will allow local hospitals to consult with oncology and chronic disease specialists at the hub location in Oakland, MD. This will allow experts to avoid having to transport patients to different locations to complete consultations. In some cases, patients may not even have to leave their homes for check-ups and appointments.
From the program award sheet:
The Virtual Cancer Care and Chronic Disease Telemedicine Program will enable medical and ancillary care staff at Potomac Valley Hospital (PVH) and Grant Memorial Hospital (GMH) to increase collaboration with medical specialists who are not onsite. It will also increase medical and ancillary care staff knowledge regarding patient diagnoses and conditions and improve the quality of care provided in the small, rural hospitals that are the end-users. The Virtual Cancer Care and Chronic Disease Telemedicine Program will enable patients at all sites (hub and end-users) to receive care in their own communities, in their own homes, cutting down on the need for patients lacking transportation to travel for medical care.
For more information, view the USDA Press Release.