CAMBRIDGE - Marion Mittler, Director of Community Affairs for Verizon presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to Robin Hetko, Manager of Information Systems and Barbara Haight, Clinical Analyst of McClellan Health System on October 17 in the Medical Library at Mary McClellan Hospital. The check was the second in a matching gift pledged by Verizon to help fund telemedicine and distance learning via the Adirondack Area Network at McClellan. They were joined by Dr. David Bonner, president of Adirondack Area Network and VP Ken Sperl. Also in attendance were Douglas Cushing, CEO of McClellan; Natalie Slohm, Director of Community Development; Mike Keyes, Physical Therapist; Courtney Hughes, Occupational Therapist; Arthur Center, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Board member Richard Norman.
In 1998, Mary McClellan Hospital was the only hospital in New York State to receive a full grant award from the USDA-RUS Distance Learning and Tele-medicine Grant. That $25,000 enabled McClellan to purchase the equipment required to offer telemedicine and distance learning to the community. Robin Hetko said, "In addition we were able to upgrade the hospitals infrastructure to support a cost effective voice, data and video wide network that connects the family health centers with the hospital."
"The technology in place at McClellan is the prototype for rural remote areas and, as an example, enables physicians and nurses to earn CME (Continuing Medicaql Education) credits without leaving the facility. Since the beginning of the year, we have participated in monthly programs from Albany Medical Center including one for members of area rescue squads", said Cathy Sheldon, Clinical Analyst from McClellan. The distance learning technology was recently used by McClellan physical therapist, Mike Keyes, who conducted a one-hour clinical program for physical therapy assistant students at Herkimer County Community College right from Mary McClellan’s rehabilitation department Robin Hetko said, "The possibilities are endless and we are preparing to make the technology available to the community on a broader basis."
CEO Douglas Cushing said, "Distance learning and telemedicine are the way of the fututre and McClellan is on the cutting edge of this exciting innovative method of learning for students of all ages and for people from many different professions. We thank Verizon for their continued support."
In the photo: l-r Douglas Cushing, CEO; Robin Hetko, Mgr. Info. Systems; Barbara Haight, RN, Info Systems; Marion Mittler, Dir. Community Affairs for Verizon; Dr. David Bonner, Pres. Adirondack Area network; Ken Sperl, V.P., Adirondack Area Network Technologies.