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  • As the covid-19 pandemic rages on around the country, here in South Carolina more people are being hospitalized from Covid-19 than at any point since the virus hit last March. That’s leaving clinicians, in some cases, to rely on telehealth to safely reach their patients. This week a national campaign launched called Telehealth Awareness Week. Ann Mond Johnson is chief executive officer of the American Telemedicine Association.“The significance is that this is the first time we’ve raised the attention level across the country around telehealth and made it not just a policy issue but a public issue,” Mond Johnson says. We have to have dialogue about this at the community level...about why this is so important.”Telehealth utilization saw an enormous increase. In 2020, South Carolina Telehealth Alliance partners conducted almost 230,000 virtual urgent care visits in the state. That's an estimated 710-percent increase from 2019.Dr. Rick Foster is a consultant on population health and health equity for the South Carolina Departments of Environmental Control and Health and Human Services.He says telehealth can be very effective in providing a very broad range of both outpatient and inpatient services. “People at all levels need to understand that it can be available to them.” He adds, ”It may in situations that you didn’t even know that you had that available in your community or that certain types of services that you’ve always had to travel a significant distance for, you can actually get in your community.”Mond Johnson adds that it’s that community awareness that increases the potential for advancement of telehealth opportunities. “We all have an important role to play to ensure that telehealth becomes a permanent modality,” she says. “And, our opportunity is to remind our publicly elected officials, both at the federal and state level, that you want to have access to these services even after the public health emergency.”
  • As the covid-19 pandemic rages on around the country, here in South Carolina more people are being hospitalized from Covid-19 than at any point since the virus hit last March. That’s leaving clinicians, in some cases, to rely on telehealth to safely reach their patients. This week a national campaign launched called Telehealth Awareness Week. Ann Mond Johnson is chief executive officer of the American Telemedicine Association.“The significance is that this is the first time we’ve raised the attention level across the country around telehealth and made it not just a policy issue but a public issue,” Mond Johnson says. We have to have dialogue about this at the community level...about why this is so important.”Telehealth utilization saw an enormous increase. In 2020, South Carolina Telehealth Alliance partners conducted almost 230,000 virtual urgent care visits in the state. That's an estimated 710-percent increase from 2019.Dr. Rick Foster is a consultant on population health and health equity for the South Carolina Departments of Environmental Control and Health and Human Services.He says telehealth can be very effective in providing a very broad range of both outpatient and inpatient services. “People at all levels need to understand that it can be available to them.” He adds, ”It may in situations that you didn’t even know that you had that available in your community or that certain types of services that you’ve always had to travel a significant distance for, you can actually get in your community.”Mond Johnson adds that it’s that community awareness that increases the potential for advancement of telehealth opportunities. “We all have an important role to play to ensure that telehealth becomes a permanent modality,” she says. “And, our opportunity is to remind our publicly elected officials, both at the federal and state level, that you want to have access to these services even after the public health emergency.”
  • More than 4,000 people in South Carolina are experiencing homelessness. In the Lowcountry, it is more than 400 and the majority of those people are located in the Charleston area. The Navigation Center provides a space that feels like a home for many people who are often stigmatized and marginalized.
  • Dr. Emily Ware is a clinical pharmacy specialist with the Tobacco Treatment program at the Medical University of South Carolina. She offers behavioral counseling that helps patients kick the habit. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of her work has been virtual.
  • On a windy afternoon earlier this month, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn along with about 50 stakeholders from across the state celebrated a successful broadband pilot project in Allendale, South Carolina which created internet access for 1,000 homes in 61 days.Jim Stritzinger, the broadband coordinator for South Carolina, said the Allendale Broadband Pilot Project is the first of many similar projects aimed at advancing digital equity in South Carolina.
  • There are an estimated 34 million people living with diabetes in the United States. Long-term complications of diabetes include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage and eye damage. People who experience diabetic retinopathy may eventually go blind. For many patients in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there may not be any symptoms at all and that is why screening is important.
  • Even as more people get their shot, South Carolina reports hundreds of new coronavirus cases every day. Many of those stricken by the virus receive medical care through remote patient monitoring.
  • A video conferencing system has allowed McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington to continue admissions and care for the mentally ill in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For people who have limited English-language proficiency, interpretation services can mean the difference between a successful health outcome or a decline…
  • Students in South Carolina’s public schools have spent much of 2020 attending school virtually after face-to-face instruction was limited due to Covid-19.…