Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new Rural Telehealth Initiative’s Telehealth Broadband Pilot Program with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center serving as the lead organization in Texas for the program, according to a news release made by the Tech HSC.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has invested $8 million to launch the program, according to the release.

The pilot program is part of the Rural Action Plan that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences that launched this past year, according to the release. The Rural Action Plan provides a path to coordinate agency efforts to transform and improve rural health care.

The Telehealth Broadband Pilot Program will evaluate the broadband capacity available to rural health care providers and patient communities, according to the release. Additionally, it aims to improve rural communities’ ability to participate in telehealth services through cross-agency collaboration.

Crosby County, Fisher County, Haskell County, Jones County, Lamb County and Mitchell County will be assessed, according to the release. The assessment focuses on gathering data of broadband capacity in prospective delivery points for telehealth services in a rural setting.

Dr. Lori Rice-Spearman, Tech HSC President, said the HSC is honored to be the lead organization in Texas, and this is a much-needed focus for these underserved areas, according to the release.   

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