Healthcare center in Putnam County gets funding for telehealth expansion

Local News

This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass.

WASHINGTON, D.C (WOWK) – A Putnam County healthcare center is getting funding to expand its telehealth services.

According to U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Federal Communications Commission is giving FamilyCare Health Center in Scott Depot $406,986 to purchase laptops and video conferencing software. The funding will also help the center improve its network and network security.

Craig Glover, President/CEO of FamilyCare Health Centers, says the funding will help them use innovative technology to serve their patients.

“With funding from the FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program, FamilyCare Health Centers will extend patients services through the use of innovative technology such as telehealth and remote patients monitoring. We are thankful for the opportunity to better serve our patients,” Glover said.

Senators Manchin and Capito say the pandemic has highlighted the need for better telehealth services, especially in more rural areas.

“The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for increased telehealth services at our health care facilities, especially for residents living in more rural areas of our country. Whether it’s our large hospitals or local health centers, telehealth will continue to play a major role in the future of healthcare in our state. I’m proud to help make this announcement for Scott Depot today, and I look forward to the improvements this will make for their medical services and network security,” Senator Capito said.

Manchin says helping these areas get access to more telehealth opportunities will continue to be important even after the pandemic.

“Telehealth services continue to help healthcare professionals provide quality care to West Virginians across the state, no matter where they live. I’m thrilled the FCC is investing in FamilyCare Health Center in Putnam County to expand their telehealth services. In the year-end COVID-19 spending package, I fought to include a second round of funding to support telehealth services and called on the FCC to prioritize small, rural providers, like FamilyCare. And I’m continuing to fight to ensure rural healthcare providers can continue offering telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth appointments after the pandemic ends,” said Senator Manchin.

As part of the effort to build telehealth, the senators have also introduced legislation to make current audio-only telehealth flexibilities permanent after the pandemic to help providers rural and underserved communities better serve their patients.

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