Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - email@example.com
Pictured, from left, are USDA Administrator Sam Rikkers of Washington, D.C.; Mississippi USDA Rural Development Director Trina George; and CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner.
CLARKSDALE – Federal and state officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) were on the campus of Coahoma Community College this week to view new telehealth equipment purchased through a USDA grant and learn how the project will help improve healthcare access in the Mississippi Delta.
Sam Rikkers, an administrator from the USDA office in Washington, D.C., and Trina George, Mississippi USDA Rural Development director, were among officials who visited CCC’s campus Tuesday morning to view the new, state-of-the-art telehealth equipment, housed in CCC’s Student Health Center.
Funded through a $700k Delta Health Grant awarded to CCC by the USDA Rural Development’s Delta Health Care Services Grant Program, the project was designed to include two main components—education and telehealth.
Part of the educational component included the creation of a BSN pathway for CCC students through a partnership with Delta State University that offers a one-year, online program. The telehealth component conveniently gives students around the clock electronic access to a nurse practitioner and other healthcare professionals.
“We were able to successfully implement the telehealth component of this grant at CCC through partnering with the Aaron Henry Health Center and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC),” said Dr. Evelyn Jossell, who serves as an independent consultant for the CCC Delta Telehealth Consortium.
Because of the grant awarded to CCC, nine other sites also received telehealth equipment in the Delta. They include Charleston High School in Charleston, MS; Madison S. Palmer High School in Marks, MS; West Bolivar High School in Rosedale, MS; and West Tallahatchie High School in Webb, MS.
“These sites will now have increased access to health services because of this project and the generosity of the USDA,” Jossell said.
During the visit, USDA officials met with CCC Academic Dean Rolonda Brown, Director of Student Services Karen Done and Educational Outreach Director Letha Richards to discuss the initial development of the program and future goals. They also met with CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner, who thanked them for visiting CCC and assured them that the project is only the beginning of CCC’s commitment to bringing cutting edge healthcare services to the Delta.
The visit also included a tour of CCC’s Student Health Center and the opportunity for USDA officials to view live demonstrations of the telehealth equipment that provides electronic access to healthcare professionals, as well as a kiosk that checks blood pressure, weight and body mass.
Once the patient has received contact with the nurse practitioner through the telehealth equipment, if it is determined further access is needed, a consultation can be arranged using the equipment with professionals at the Aaron Henry Health Center or UMMC—based on the nature of the case.
In addition to providing instant results, the kiosk can conveniently e-mail the information to the patient and can even aggregate the results to provide monthly and weekly averages.
“This is great not only for students, but also faculty and staff who are trying to keep a watch on their weight or manage their high blood pressure,” Jossell said.
The kiosk has been available since the summer, and the telehealth equipment is expected to be up and running next month.
CLICK HERE to view more photos from the visit!