SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Center for Telehealth at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has received a grant that merges the need for telehealth support and the need for a pipeline network for those entering the rural health care workforce.

While helping to enhance local capacity to support telehealth in rural areas, funding from this three-year, $1.545 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will also support the establishment of a South Carolina Rural Telehealth Workforce Pipeline Network (RTWPN.)

Ragan DuBose-Morris, an associate professor at MUSC, spoke with WSAV NOW about the importance of the RTWPN and the grant from HRSA.

“The Rural Telehealth Workforce Pipeline is going to help to support the work that is being done in rural communities across South Carolina to bring telehealth services to patients and providers,” DuBose-Morris said.

“Right now, there is a lack of training for nursing staff and health informatics professionals specific to telehealth,” she explained.

DuBose-Morris said that many people who are being trained for work in medical settings do not get adequate training on how to implement telehealth. One of the aims of this grant is to help bridge the gap between what students are learning and what they need to know about telehealth.

Another goal of this program is to encourage rural residents to stay and work in their local communities. Rural areas are struggling to attract healthcare providers and also keep them once they are hired. While there are many things that are believed to be causing this, research has shown that those who are from rural communities are likely to return to those communities after school.

“These are the communities in which they were born and raised, they’ve gone to school, they’ve worked and they’re interested in staying. That’s where their family is,” she said.

This program will develop opportunities for students in high school and technical college living in South Carolina so that they can learn more about and also become more employable through education relating to telehealth.

You can learn more about this by clicking or tapping on the press release linked here.