The Institute for Family Health Receives FCC Funds for Telehealth Expansion
New Paltz, New York (April 30, 2020) – The Institute for Family Health has received a grant of $729,118 from the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau to expand telehealth services in response to COVID-19. The funds will allow the organization to purchase needed software and equipment to ensure reliable, high-volume access to remote primary care, behavioral health and social services for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Institute is expecting that as many as 50,000 patients will use telehealth services over the next several months. Telehealth services will help connect patients who have COVID-19 symptoms with care, without leaving home. Access to telehealth is also critical for patients with chronic conditions and other illnesses, so that they can maintain their health and avoid complications while limiting their risk of exposure to the virus.
“We are so grateful for this investment,” said Dr. Neil Calman, the Institute’s co-founder, president and CEO. “Telehealth services are a lifeline for underserved communities who already face so many barriers to health care – and now must try to take care of their health from home so they don’t risk exposure to this deadly virus. We are so impressed by the FCC’s fast turnaround of these grant requests. These services are critical and there is no time to lose.”
The Institute’s grant is one of 30 awarded to date under the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The program was authorized by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide $200 million in funding to help health care organizations provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations during the pandemic. So far, the FCC has awarded $13.7 million to providers in 16 states.
The Institute has also received emergency funding from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Robin Hood, the David Geffen Foundation and TD Bank. All funding is being used to support the organization’s COVID-19 response.
The Institute for Family Health (www.institute.org) is a federally qualified health center network that operates 32 practices in New York State serving more than 115,000 patients annually. Services are available to people of all ages, regardless of ability to pay.