Charles represents VUMC at White House Rural Telehealth gathering

From the Winter 2017 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

Photo by Anne Rayner

David Charles, M.D., chief medical officer of the Vanderbilt Neuroscience Institute, vice-chair of the Department of Neurology and medical director of Telemedicine, represented Vanderbilt University Medical Center at a White House Convening on Rural Telehealth in March 2016.

Charles was invited to lead off a panel entitled Spotlight on Innovation by presenting an overview of the future of telemedicine and the success of VUMC’s telemedicine program.

According to the White House, the event was held to build on the administration’s ongoing commitment to expand access to opportunity through quality, affordable health care. The event highlighted the essential role of telehealth in reaching high-need rural families and communities.

Guests at the gathering included representatives from various telecom/telehealth groups, including VUMC, the University of Virginia, Mercy Health, and the Rural Broadband Association. Government representatives included state officials along with leaders from Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“It was certainly an honor to represent Vanderbilt Telemedicine at the White House, but the credit goes to our amazing team, including administrative director Amber Humphrey,” Charles said.

The National Telephone Cooperative Association spearheaded the gathering after a visit from FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to a Tennessee rural health provider, where she had witnessed the provider using telehealth technology to connect to VUMC.

Topics discussed at the gathering included a status update from HHS, discussion of barriers to telemedicine, serving vets and tribal communities and best practices. Participants were on hand to identify and make recommendations to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on barriers and opportunities to increased deployment and participation in telehealth services.