Release Date: 10-16-2006 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, October 16, 2006)…Congressman Don Sherwood (R) and officials from the Rural Development Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented Wayne Memorial Hospital with a ceremonial check today for $155,213. The monies, under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program, will be used to help Home Health patients, Maternity patients and physicians, and patients who visit the new Waymart Medical Center due to open in early 2007.
“We are extremely grateful to receive this money,” said Virginia Fries, RN, Director of Patient Care Services. “Because of this funding, we will be able to help many chronically ill patients, who often require a lot of intervention, as well as mothers and fetuses experiencing difficulties as birth approaches.”
“This is exciting,” added WMH Home Health Manager Mary Lou Hoffner, RN. She explained how her department will use the grant money to buy tele-monitors for 40 patients. “These monitors will help keep conditions more stable for our patients and help avoid repeat hospitalizations and complications.”
Patients who use the monitors will have a cuff to take their blood pressures, a scale to take their weights and a pulse oximeter for oxygen readings. Once the measurements are taken, the patients press a button and the information is tele-transmitted to WMH Home Health.
The grant will also fund expansion of the Perinatal Monitoring program in New Beginnings to monitor laboring mothers and fetuses in the hospital. This program helps nurses in New Beginnings attend directly to patients and provides real-time telemetry to obstetrician/gynecological healthcare providers at their offices in the community.
Congressman Sherwood praised Wayne Memorial for “embracing the new technology and stepping up to today’s healthcare challenges.
“Change is tough, and access to healthcare in a rural area can also be tough,” Sherwood said, “A Home Health nurse might have to visit a patient in Masthope (Pike County) and then turn around to attend to a patient in Starrucca (in northern Wayne County). Tele-medicine technology makes it easier to deal with situations in rural areas.”
“We are very appreciative of this aid from the U-S-D-A,” said David Hoff, Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Memorial Health System. “Wayne Memorial is committed to growing with the community and the federal government’s help is affirmation of this commitment.”
Gary Groves, Pa State Director of the USDA’s Rural Development program, noted that only 100 grants of this kind were distributed nationwide at this time