On November 9, the Illinois Telehealth Network (ITN) will be honored with a ​statewide Excellence in Telehealth Leadership Award for Improved Care for Underserved Populations. The honor will be presented in recognition of two Hospital Sisters Health System-led telemedicine programs at a luncheon in Chicago hosted by Partnership for a Connected Illinois and the American Telemedicine Association.
ITN’s staff, board and members will be recognized for their pioneering work in piloting services such as 24/7 emergency room tele-stroke services and direct-to-consumer virtual urgent care, including:

  • HSHS Medical Group’s AnytimeCare.com, launched in May 2015, has served more than 3,000 virtual urgent care patients, helping decrease unnecessary emergency room visits, reduce costs, and facilitate follow-ups with primary care physicians.

  • The 24/7 Tele-Stroke program, launched by Hospital Sisters Health System in 2014, has treated more than 1,700 stoke patients in emergency rooms throughout central and southern Illinois. One tele-stroke patient from Stewardson, Illinois was recently profiled on an ABC News Channel 20 news story.

ITN’s Executive Director, Dr. Gurpreet Mander, commented, “The Illinois Telehealth Network is honored to receive this award.” He added, “Our network is all about increasing rural access to quality care, and it’s gratifying to be able to use telemedicine and virtual urgent care expand access to care in areas with shortages of health care professionals.” 
When a stroke patient arrives in the emergency room and a neurology specialist consult is requested, response times are an average of three minutes or less—a stellar record when minutes could count in saving a life. Tele-stroke care facilitates a patient and neurologist encounter, even though the two may be separated by hundreds of miles. The remote presence neurologist examines the patient using sophisticated videoconference and other medical equipment, speaks with clinicians and family members, reviews CT scans and other tests, and supports emergency treatment decisions with documentation in the medical record. Dr. Mander explained, “Our tele-stroke care helps expedite treatment decisions, save lives, reduce disability, and also helps many patients avoid unnecessary transfers.”
Led by HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, tele-stroke services are provided by the following Illinois Telehealth Network hospitals:

  1. Boyd Memorial Hospital (Carrollton)

  2. Carlinville Area Hospital (Carlinville)

  3. Hillsboro Area Hospital (Hillsboro)

  4. HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital (Belleville)

  5. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, formerly Shelby Memorial Hospital (Shelbyville)

  6. HSHS Holy Family Hospital, formerly Greenville Regional Hospital (Greenville)

  7. HSHS St. John’s Hospital (Springfield)

  8. HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital (Highland)

  9. HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital (Breese)

  10. HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital (Effingham)

  11. HSHS St. Mary's Hospital (Decatur)

  12. HSHS St. Francis Hospital (Litchfield)

  13. Mason District Hospital (Havana)

  14. Pana Community Hospital (Pana)

The Partnership for a Connected Illinois and American Telemedicine Association Leadership Awards will be presented at a 2017 Excellence in Telehealth Leadership luncheon at 12 p.m. on November 9, 2017 to be held at the offices of McDermott Will & Emery, LLP (444 West Lake Street, Suite 4000, Chicago).
About Partnership for a Connected Illinois 
Partnership for a Connected Illinois (PCI) is an Illinois 501(C) (3) nonprofit. The organization was formed in 2009 with the mission to ensure broadband access throughout the State of Illinois and to maximize its impact and adoption. PCI oversaw the expenditure of over $305 million for the expansion of broadband over 3,593 miles in Illinois. In 2015, with the completion of its Federal grants, PCI shifted its focus to broadband adoption through the use of telehealth. PCI created a project, the Illinois Telehealth Initiative, which conducts educational events on telehealth law, organizes telehealth demonstration projects and recognizes organizations that have demonstrated leadership in advancing telehealth in Illinois. It is found at http://www.broadbandillinois.org/About.html
About the Illinois Telehealth Network
ITN’s mission is to help members improve patient access to healthcare in rural, underserved and disadvantaged communities through the application of telemedicine solutions. Launched in 2013 by Hospital Sisters Health System with a federal grant, today ITN is a nonprofit corporation with 26 members, an elected board, and a three-year HRSA grant to support a $1.3 million rural health network development project.
About HSHS Medical Group
HSHS Medical Group is the physician organization of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). Launched in 2009, HSHS Medical Group is a critical component of the HSHS Care Integration strategy, which focuses on bringing physicians, technology and patients together to improve the overall health of our communities. Today, HSHS Medical Group is comprised of over 1,000 colleagues in locations throughout central and southern Illinois. HSHS Medical Group is powered by the Franciscan history of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, and our faith-based identity led us to the single most important tenet of the HSHS Medical Group philosophy — patient-first care. For more information about HSHS Medical Group, visit www.hshsmedicalgroup.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org.   For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org

Media Contact

Ashley Gramann

Communications Manager
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 526-5439

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