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July 17, 2001

Ryan Announces Rural Hospital Telemedicine Grants

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the awarding of $450,000 in grants to 10 small Illinois rural hospitals to improve access to health care for underserved populations through the use of a high-speed, high-capacity telemedicine network.

"This communications network will offer the participating hospitals an opportunity to use technology to meet the demands of the health care marketplace and the health care needs of rural Illinois residents," Governor Ryan said.

The grants will cover the cost of computers, video conferencing equipment, infrastructure modifications and initial telecommunications charges necessary to allow the hospitals to participate in the telemedicine network. The funding also will support educational opportunities for staff and the administration. Each hospital will be connected to the Illinois Century Network, the statewide, high-speed telecommunications system created by Governor Ryan in 1999 to integrate and expand data, voice and video communications between schools and libraries.

The hospitals will be able to perform medical consultations from remote sites and electronically access information and services. They will be able to communicate with anyother hospital, rural or urban, that is linked to what is being called the Critical Access Hospital Telehealth Network.

The hospitals selected for the grants by the Illinois Department of Public Health are the smallest of the Medicare classified rural hospitals. In most cases, the facilities have no more than 15 beds and patient stays average less than four days.

The following is a list of hospitals that received grants funds.

Dr. John Warner Hospital, Clinton $ 46,155
Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Fairfield 46,095
Galena Strauss Hospital, Galena 46,045
John and Mark Kirby Hospital, Monticello 30,666
Memorial Hospital, Carthage 45,122
Mendota Community Hospital, Mendota 48,837
Mercer County Hospital, Aledo 46,611
Rochelle Community Hospital, Rochelle 46,095
Thomas H. Boyd Memorial Hospital, Carrollton 46,095
Washington County Hospital, Nashville 46,858
Total $448,579


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