George Mason University and the Health Wagon Plan to Deploy Telehealth Carts to Combat Coronavirus (COVID-19)
George Mason University recently partnered to give four new advanced telehealth carts to the Health Wagon through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant, valued at $12,040. The telehealth systems will be used to provide virtual clinics.
“The Health Wagon is so very thankful for these products as we are the highest utilizer of telehealth in the Commonwealth of Virginia due to barriers, such as financial and transportation, that prevents patients to be treated with much needed specialty care,” said Health Wagon President and CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson. “The Health Wagon will supply carts at Health Wagon stationary clinic sites, partner Appalachian Center for Excellence in Healthcare and with partner Appalachian College of Pharmacy,” said Dr. Tyson.
The Health Wagon also intends to utilize this innovative approach to healthcare treatment to minimize a potential coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in southwest Virginia. Telehealth is a resource which mitigates barriers to healthcare access as well as prevents transmission of disease and illness from physical touch. Person’s who have been in contact with another person with COVID-19, person’s who live in or have traveled in an area of ongoing spread of the disease, and any ship or airplane travel are at risk. The Health Wagon is committed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in southwest Virginia and looks forward to utilizing this generous donation through this process.
“We are happy to support the Health Wagon with equipment and will be available for any needed support during this public health epidemic,” said Dr. Rebecca Sutter, Director of Clinical Services Population Health Center/Mason and Partners Clinic Co-Director.
“We could not be receiving this equipment at a better time as we are planning to deploy the carts to provide virtual care clinics at possible partnering pharmacies. It will provide an alternate to face-to-face encounters during this epidemic and reduce community exposure as the individual can be seen virtually and then pick up a prescription at same time. The Health Wagon is proactively responding to the COVID-19 crisis and once again bringing innovation to the delivery of health care in southwest Virginia,” said Dr. Tyson.
“This is an opportunity to utilize virtual retail health clinics at pharmacies and grocery stores to see a doctor and get a prescription at the same time to avoid spreading the coronavirus,” said Dr. Shamly Abdelfattah, PharmD, Associate Professor of Pharmacy and Director of Healthcare Innovations at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.
This innovation and partnership is in the early planning stages and will not be available immediately.
The Health Wagon is a nurse practitioner managed clinic that has been in existence since 1980 which provides free medical, dental and vision health care services in Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan and Russell Counties and Norton City. For more information about The Health Wagon, please call 276-328-8850 or visit www.thehealthwagon.org. If you would like to donate to the Health Wagon, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, please visit: www.thehealthwagon.org/donate.
George Mason University and Partners Clinics are a nurse practitioner managed clinic that serves Northern Virginia. These free academic-community clinics provide medical, behavioral health, and substance use treatment (MAT) services to our local communities. For this project they will be available for both opioid (MAT/Suboxone) and public health consultation.