2017 Third Quarter Newsletter

Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth 3rd Quarter Newsletter 2017




Third Quarter Newsletter



TeleHealth: The Innovative Edge of Everything


In This Issue
Welcome New Partners: 
Wills Memorial Hospital / Wilkes County Hospital – Washington, GA
Dr. Nandlal Chanani – Tifton, GA
Grundy County High School – Tennessee
Grundy High Occupational Class – Tennessee
Coalmont Elementary – Tennessee
Palmer Elementary – Tennessee
North Elementary – Tennessee
Tracy City Elementary – Tennessee
Pelham Elementary – Tennessee
Swiss Memorial – Tennessee
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – Tifton, GA
Southern Regional Technical College – Moultrie Moultrie, GA
Meadows Regional – Lyons, GA
Oakhurst Medical – Stone Mountain, GA
Candler County Fmaily Practice – Metter, GA
Pediatric Medical Group – Dr. Feng – Atlanta, GA



Partner Spotlight: Dr. Vivek Manikal


Vivek Manikal, MD, is Board Certified in Infectious Disease (ID). He is licensed in both Florida and Georgia.  His expertise includes infections, including those caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, ranging from common infections to the more exotic. Additionally, Dr. Manikal is experienced in the use of antibiotics, epidemiology, immunology, and infection control. He also treats patients with infections due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Telehealth enables him to share his specialized expertise to remote locations in Florida and Georgia, where access to an ID specialist is difficult and not practical in some situations. Many patients are in Critical Care Units and cannot be transferred for an ID consultation. Telemedicine provides contact with specialized care that is not easily available.
A case example of a recent telehealth encounter:  The patient was an immigrant from Central America who complained of severe leg pain and other significant symptoms; therefore the local physician feared an amputation was imminent.  After consultation and a telemedicine evaluation, Dr. Manikal diagnosed the patient with latent tuberculosis. A treatment regimen was ordered, the leg was saved, and follow-up appointments were arranged. This patient had a positive outcome.
Dr. Manikal’s practice is supported by staff knowledgeable with Medical Information Technology, and Advanced Practice Nurses (ARNP) who help him in the hospital and with the Telemedicine program 
To initiate an Infectious Disease Telemedicine consultation, referring physicians may contact GPT or Dr. Manikal’s office. 
GPT: 866-754-4325
Infection Disease Associates: 904-819-9925  



On August 22, Congressman Buddy Carter visited the GPT office.  We are thankful for all that Congressman Carter does to support rural health in Georgia and we are thrilled to know that he is a telehealth champion.
Jared Johnson, CTO; Sherrie Willams, COO; Tanya Melton,
Finance Director; Congressman Buddy Carter; Rena Brewer, CEO;  
Les Evans, Account Manager; Lloyd Sirmons, Director, SETRC

CTO Jerad Johnson demonstrates the Global 2700 telemedicine unit to Congressman Carter.   





GPT Employee Spotlight: 



Q & A with Keri Brantley

 Role at GPT:

 Account Manager/Conference Director


Graduate of Southeastern Technical College; Radiologic Technologist

What is your hobby?

I absolutely love music so I try and see at least one concert every year!

 What is your favorite quote?

“When you can tell your story and it doesn’t make you cry, that’s when you know you have healed”-Unknown

What do you see as a challenge in your work? 

This country needs adequate and affordable broadband to support telehealth to increase access to quality care for all individuals at the right place and right time when it is needed.  This can improve access to care, lead to better health outcomes, and reduce costs.

 Are you seeing an increase in telehealth visits? 

Yes, with Endocrinology.  There is a diabetic clinic and an OB/GYN that are connecting back to an endocrinologist and his telehealth practice staying very busy.
What is rewarding in your job? 
I get to see patients receive Specialty Care that they may not be able to see due to time, distance and expenses for travel.
Name an example of a patient visit that was interesting to you. 
One of the first SBHC visits that I was a part of was a young student that had strep throat.  After the visit, the mother thanked me and the nurse and told us that she couldn’t afford new tires.  They live in a very rural town so they must drive a good distance for healthcare and she was going to have to wait until Monday when she got paid.  Time and distance were alleviated because of telemedicine.     
What do you see as benefits of Telehealth? 
It creates more efficient, convenient and potentially more cost-effective delivery of care.  In essence, it removes time and distance.



GPT Board Member Spotlight:
Dr. Jean Sumner




Dr. Jean Rawlings Sumner is Dean of Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM). She practiced internal medicine in Washington and Johnson Counties in Georgia for over 25 years. Dr. Sumner is a third generation Georgia physician and is committed to rural health. She was a member of the first class at MUSM and has served on multiple state boards including Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, State Medical Education Board, Public Health Advisory Committee, and Georgia Composite Board of Medicine where she served as President and Medical Director. In addition to her other work, Dr. Sumner has served as a member of the Federation of State Boards of Medicine S.M.A.R.T. workgroup to help establish standards for telehealth. . She is married to Joe Sumner, a pharmacist, and they have two children and four granddaughters. Dr. Sumner enjoys raising chickens, fishing, art, and creating pottery.  


ASK The SETRC Experts…

We are excited to announce that SETRC has been funded for another three-year term. There have been a lot of uncertainties over the last couple of years with HRSA, as to what was going to be done with the Regional TRC’s, however, in the end they decided to stay the course and keep 12 Regional and 2 National TRC’s. The uncertainty caused the 14 resource centers to form the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers which has resulted in a stronger, more cohesive organization that leverages the strengths of each center for the greater good of all across the nation. One of the National TRCs, the Center for Connected Health Policy, was voted among the TRC’s to be the leader of the Consortium.

If you have a question you would like answered, please contact Lloyd Sirmons, Director, at lloyd.sirmons@setrc.us.





Guyton and Springfield elementary school begin telemedicine. 
This fall, students at Guyton and Springfield elementary schools will be able to see a doctor via live camera in a new telemedicine program through Effingham Health System. The county’s non-profit healthcare system is working with the Effingham County Board of Education with the intention of rolling out to more schools soon. (Read More)


Georgia to ask feds for $49 million for school nurses
In a joint effort with the Georgia Department of Education, the Department of Community Health board voted to approve a nursing services reimbursement program that would draw an estimated $48.6 million in additional federal dollars, assuming no major changes to Medicaid. (Read More)


GPT has implemented a fun new game for our hard-working school based Telehealth nurses. Each month participating nurses are eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 gift card. This month’s winning nurse can be seen in the following video on the GPT Facebook Page.

If you want to know more about GPT’s awesome School Based Telehealth
Program give us a call: 866-754-4325


Thank you to our wonderful school nurses!!


Fun GPT Fact:


  • 73% of our partners are community based entities (FQHCs, public/private school clinics, corrections, child advocacy, ambulance, etc.)
  • 26% of our partners are providers of healthcare services (physicians, non MD providers such as NPs or PAs, hospitals, etc.)
  • 1% are academic universities.



Sign up for the Certified Telemedicine Clinical Presenter or Certified Telehealth Coordinator today by visiting the National School of Applied TeleHealth: NSAT Website



The Southeastern TeleHealth Resource Center serves as a resource to health care providers, health systems, clinics, long term care facilities, schools, government agencies and others interested in providing telehealth services for the rural and underserved in the region. SETRC’s coverage area includes Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia and is operated by Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc., Georgia’s successful nonprofit statewide telehealth network.
(Grant #G22RH20212-04-00)
For More Information Visit:  www.setrc.us
Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc., 3599 Plant Ave Ext, Blackshear, GA 31516
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