Daines Announces $325,000 to Expand Telehealth Services in Billings

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced $325,000 to expand telehealth services in rural communities across Montana.

The grant was awarded to St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation in Billings. 

“It’s critical that Montanans have access to healthcare regardless of where they live,” Daines stated. “Telehealth plays an increasingly important role in communities across Montana and I’m excited that St. Vincent will be able to continue providing quality healthcare services to Montanans.” 

“This grant award from The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth in HRSA allows the continuation of The Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center which is based out of Billings but serves seven states in the northwest part of the country,” Eric Pollard, Director, Virtual Health & Radiology Services at St. Vincent Healthcare stated. “The mission of the NRTRC is to serve the healthcare community in identifying ways of incorporating TeleHealth as a tool to improve the care of patients, especially in rural areas. Healthcare is a constantly changing industry and virtual healthcare is the way of the future. The NRTRC can help pave the way forward with years of rural healthcare experience and a large collection of valuable resources that can be provided free of charge to the public. St. Vincent Healthcare is excited to be awarded another year of service for this valuable program!”

Daines recently secured funding to focus resources toward efforts and programs to help rural communities, such as telehealth in the FY2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

The Telehealth Network Grant Program (TNGP) through the Department of Health and Human Services demonstrates how telehealth programs and networks can improve access to quality health care services in rural, frontier, and underserved communities.  TNGP networks are used to: (a) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of health care services; (b) improve and expand the training of health care providers; and/or (c) expand and improve the quality of health information available to health care providers, and patients and their families, for decision-making.   

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