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Dr. Ana Maria Lopez leads a !Vida! session

¡Vida! emerged from work with breast cancer survivors who, despite five years or more since the breast cancer diagnosis, clearly articulated their goal not only to live, but to live well.

Named from the Spanish word meaning “life,” ¡Vida! is a monthly partner educational series for patients and their professional health care teams. Guided by a broad-based Community Partnership Group, ¡Vida! has been proactively addressing the identified needs of patients and their families across the state of Arizona.

While ¡Vida! originally began with a focus on breast cancer survivorship, the series has evolved to include topics related to lifestyle medicine, wellness, and advocacy with the overarching goal of engaging Arizona’s citizens in their own health!

Dr. Ronald S. Weinstein works with a group of students

A home run, or a “four-bagger” in entrepreneur-speak, in telemedicine or telehealth is: 1) a patient service which is equivalent to an in-person service in terms of effectiveness including patient and provider satisfaction; 2) is sustainable; 3) is cost effective; and 4) is a service that migrates into the mainstream of the US healthcare delivery system. 

Telemedicine home runs have been a long time in coming.

teleophthalmology - doctors performing exam

We know that diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in working age adults.

We know that it’s more common among Native Americans than any other ethnic group.

We also know that only half of Native Americans get an annual eye exam, which is key to effective treatment of diabetic retinopathy, a disease that can eventually lead to blindness.

It’s a public health crisis – and one that telemedicine has made great progress toward resolving.

“Telemedicine is pivotal for diabetic retinopathy,” says Mark B. Horton, OD, MD, director of the U.S. Indian Health Service’s multi-state teleophthalmology program, a collaboration with the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Southwest Telehealth Resource Center logo

Have you ever thought about what it would take to get a telemedicine program started? What aspects need to be considered? Where can personnel get trained? Are there existing protocols for conducting clinical consultations? Are there practice guidelines? Is telemedicine reimbursable – where and by whom?

The questions are often quite overwhelming, but there is help!

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