On June 3, representatives from Congressmen John Shimkus (IL-15th) and Rodney Davis (IL-13th) announced a new $100,000 federal grant to HSHS St. Francis Hospital (Litchfield, IL) to increase access to specialty care for residents living in rural areas of Central and Southern Illinois. The grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Network Planning Program supports further development of a rural hospital telehealth network made up of 21 hospitals and physician groups. Funding from the grant program will be used to promote the planning of healthcare networks to achieve efficiencies, expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services. Telehealth services allow physician specialists to consult with and evaluate patients who seek care in rural Emergency Departments and physician offices via specialized video conference equipment.
From left to right: David Mortimer, Central Illinois Telehealth Network (CITN) Administrative Director; Dr. Gurpreet Mander, CITN Chair; Mary Starmann-Harrison, President and CEO, HSHS; Deb Detmers, Office of Congressman Shimkus; Philip Lasseigne, Office of Congressman Rodney Davis.