The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally reshaped healthcare, with telehealth emerging as a vital tool for delivering crucial services to patients from the comfort and safety of home.

Now, a groundbreaking new program takes this a step further in the expansion of the Home Test to Treat, an entirely virtual community health initiative offering free at-home rapid tests for COVID-19 and the flu, as well as telehealth consultations, and medication delivery for eligible participants nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) defines a community health worker (CHW) as “a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member or has a particularly good understanding of the community served. A CHW serves as a liaison between health and social services and the community to facilitate access to services and to improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.”

In Arizona’s rural communities they are frequently called community health workers. In tribal nations and within the Indian Health Service, they are often known as community health representatives (CHRs). In Southern Arizona communities, they may be called promotoras or promotores.

The 2023 Arizona Telehealth Policy Summit kicked off its first in-person gathering since the pandemic with more than 130 people, 70 people in-person in Phoenix, and more than 60 others viewed the live video stream from remote locations.

“This is our fourth summit, but the first one we've had in-person with a virtual option since the public health emergency,” said Tara Sklar, associate director of Telehealth Law and Policy with the Arizona Telemedicine Program and director of the Health Law and Policy Program at University of Arizona College of Law. “It’s a very special day for us.”

The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health’s AZHEALTHTXT service is a bilingual information-sharing platform that disseminates timely, expert-curated, health information tailored to the unique needs of Arizonans via text messaging.

Click ‘Read more »’ to view the full blog and learn how to subscribe to AZHEALTHTXT.

On October 24th, the 2023 Arizona Telehealth Policy Summit will host national and state telehealth experts to discuss the latest on Arizona and national telehealth policies and trends. This summit will benefit healthcare leaders, administrators, regulators, providers, and other stakeholders in learning more about virtual care. Summit speakers and in-person attendees will convene at the Virginia G. Piper auditorium on the Phoenix Bioscience Core campus. A virtual attendance option will also be available.

The summit program will begin with opening remarks from Professor Tara Sklar, summit host and associate director of Telehealth Law & Policy with the Arizona Telemedicine Program; Dr. Daniel Derksen, a nationally noted health-care policy and rural health expert and associate vice president in the University of Arizona office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences; and a blessing ceremony and land acknowledgement from Dr. Carlos Gonzales, assistant vice president of Indigenous Affairs with the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

When Integrative Touch for Kids started over 17 years ago, it brought a unique approach to treatment that made a difference in care and recovery for children and their families facing chronic health conditions.

The organization’s integrative health practitioners visited patients in pediatric hospital settings to help reduce stress through meditation, breath work, acupressure, massage, and more. Away from the hospital, they held healing retreats for children and caregivers, palliative care clinics, and community clinics with the goal of transforming trauma and ending isolation in illness.

The Arizona Telemedicine Program and its Southwest Telehealth Resource Center were recognized by the United States Distance Learning Association as a “Trendsetter in Distance Learning” at its 2023 National Conference in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Janet Major, Arizona Telemedicine Program and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center’s associate director for Innovation and Digital Health, received the award on behalf of the ATP and SWTRC.


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