Doing Telehealth in Rural America – Schools, Prisons, Homes

Updated Sept. 18, 2020

The Stigler Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in East Central Oklahoma, covering a seven-county service area. It started seeing patients in 2005 with eight patients and eight staff, and by the end of 2018 it was seeing 26,811 patients. Through telehealth, SHWC has been able to increase access to care to their local schools, community colleges, county detention centers, a home care agency as well as their own primary care clinics. In 2019, SHWC did about 3,000 telehealth visits. This increased to 10,200 visits in 2020 with COVID-19 and the need to start offering direct-to-consumer telemedicine visits. SHWC also continues to provide site-to-site telehealth. Currently about 20% of its patient encounters each day are done via video visits.   Learn more about the SHWC’s implementation of VSee across its seven locations.

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About the Speakers

Caleb Knowlton is the Special Projects Coordinator for Stigler Health and Wellness Center (SHWC), the largest rural Community Health Center (i.e. Federally Qualified Health Center) in Oklahoma, spanning a seven-county service area within the East Central region of the state. After teaching high school for eight years, Caleb was given the opportunity to enter the world of healthcare and join the tremendous team at SHWC. Since that time, Caleb has coordinated the implementation of multiple projects focused on expanding services, increasing access, and optimizing the quality of patient care for the patients in its service area.

Chris Coplen is the Community Services Coordinator for SHWC. As SHWC expands its services beyond the walls of each clinic location, Chris connects the communities within its service area to the many resources the health center offers. She has quickly become a major player in SHWC’s growing remote-site telehealth program. In addition, Chris coordinates the mobile dental unit program through partnerships with surrounding schools, libraries, community centers, and businesses. Through part of the Rural Health Opioid Program and the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, Chris is currently working with local middle school and high school staff and students to develop and implement an opioid use disorder education and prevention program.

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