(BREESE, IL) – HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese is excited to announce that they will be one of the beneficiaries of a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. This grant award of $429,000 will be used for purchasing telemedicine equipment in an initiative led by the Illinois Telehealth Network (ITN). These federal dollars will be matched by ITN members and a matching grant from the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation. The total project represents an investment of $504,700 into rural telemedicine equipment for 14 rural spoke sites.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese is one of the sites that will receive funds to upgrade their telemonitoring system currently used in their Emergency department for telestroke services. A telemedicine cart and monitor stationed in St. Joseph’s Emergency department is used by physicians to allow a tele-neurologist to examine a patient suffering a stroke to help expedite treatment decisions, reduce disability, helps many patients avoid unnecessary transfers, and ultimately save lives.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Breese’s President and CEO Chris Klay shared what this grant award means to the residents of the area served by St. Joseph’s Hospital. “We are so pleased that we will be able to upgrade our telemonitoring equipment by being a beneficiary of St. John’s grant award. This will allows us to continue to provide high level diagnostic care for those who may be suffering a stroke, to begin treatment as quickly as possible, since ‘time is brain’ when it comes to strokes,” he explained. “This upgrade will also allow us to look into other services we can use telemedicine for to provide immediate access to specialists, while offering quality care close to home.”
Other telemedicine services available at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese include telemedicine pediatric care in the Emergency department, tele-neonatal care (with SLUCare neonatologists at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital), and level II ultrasounds for high risk pregnancies.
HSHS has been a pioneering leader and advocate of telehealth technology in Illinois, founding the Illinois Telehealth Network (ITN) through a HRSA Rural Health Network Development grant, other federal grants, and significant matching grants from the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Foundation. Today the network consists of 26 health organizations across the state, both HSHS affiliates and non-HSHS affiliates. ITN’s mission is to promote the capacity of its members to improve access to health care in rural, underserved and disadvantaged communities through the application of telehealth and telemedicine solutions.
For more information about the Illinois Telehealth Network, visit IllinoisTelehealthNetwork.org.