Raleigh, NC – CarolinaLink, North Carolina’s Broadband Cooperative Coalition, recently presented a $50,000 check to UNC Children’s Hospital as part of their ten-year partnership to support rural virtual health programs across the state.
“We’re in the second year of a ten-year commitment where CarolinaLink will support efforts to connect patients living in rural areas to specialists at UNC Children’s Hospital,” said Keith Holden, CEO of CarolinaLink member company, FOCUS Broadband. “Through our partnership we are expanding these virtual programs and offerings throughout North Carolina to meet the need of our rural communities.”
UNC Children’s Hospital is using these funds to enable pediatrician’s offices throughout the state to connect their rural patients to specialists. The telehealth clinics are strategically located where it is more difficult for patients and their families to travel to the Triangle for pediatric specialty services. Currently, there are telehealth locations at Sandhills Pediatrics in Southern Pines and Southeast Primary Care in Whiteville. Additional locations are expected to open soon in Lumberton, Goldsboro and Elizabeth City.
“The farther families live from a clinic, the more likely parents are to have lost work due to frequent absences for travel and care, putting families in difficult positions,” commented Dr. Michelle Hernandez, Director of the NC Child Health Research Center. “At UNC Children’s, it is our priority to ensure that parents do not have to make these sacrifices to access healthcare for their children. The philanthropic impact of this gift from CarolinaLink on our virtual care program means we are reaching more children in need and providing the support and healthcare they deserve.”
CarolinaLink is made up of North Carolina’s seven broadband membership cooperatives who provide advanced technology services to many of the state’s most rural areas. The seven members include FOCUS Broadband, Randolph Communications, RiverStreet Networks, SkyLine/SkyBest, Star Communications, Surry Communications and Yadtel.