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Sharing our Thanks in 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

The first American Thanksgiving took place in October -- not November --1621. Pilgrims still new to America wanted to celebrate their first harvest in their new country with the Wampanoag Indians, with whom they maintained peace and good will for many decades. New land meant new ways to do good for others, and themselves..

Nearly 400 years have passed since that first Thanksgiving, and this year, those of us with the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) are thankful for the opportunities we have to work with you, and do good for others, and ourselves.

Nearing the end of 2018, some of us jotted down our thoughts about what we are thankful for this year. We hope you enjoy our comments, and wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!

Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, Director, Arizona Telemedicine Program

Every day is a joy and a blessing for us! I am so thankful that I have had a role in bringing telemedicine services to medically underserved rural communities in Arizona for the past two decades. 

Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Co-Director, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center

What am I thankful for? So many things it’s nearly impossible to put into words! Life is an evolving journey and every day brings new experiences and new friends, yet at the same time the past weaves itself through this journey and is a constant thread of friends, family and life events. I am forever thankful for my Arizona Telemedicine Program family for all the opportunities and adventures we’ve had together and the future ones that have yet to even peek above the horizon. I look forward to a virtual toast and hug with each and every one this Thanksgiving!

Pete Yonsetto, ATP Video Conferencing Administrator

I am grateful for the experience of sharing the technical innovations that enable people to connect and support one another.  It is so important for those unable to travel from their homes, those that have private, sensitive medical issues, that they now can have support wherever they live.  It is uniquely about education and outreach that allows people to be willing and able to share with one another their stories.

Nancy Rowe, Associate Director, Outreach and Public Policy

I spoke to a friend recently who said telemedicine is a lifesaver. He sees a neurologist and a psychiatrist regularly from a rural area, which saves him hours of travel for each appointment. I’m thankful for the ways, like this, in which telemedicine helps people. And I’m thankful to have a job where I get to help the people who make these telemedicine programs happen.

Mike Holcomb, Associate Director, Information Technology

I am thankful for the opportunity to support healthcare professionals and their patients in their uses of telemedicine technologies to make healthcare more accessible. It is rewarding, professionally, as a member of the ATP team, to know that ATP’s work has contributed to improvements in healthcare delivery, education and research, that have benefitted people in a variety of ways, ranging from acute life-saving medical interventions to enabling healthcare professions students to participate in content-rich interactive learning experiences from anywhere that they can access a broadband Internet connection.

Kristine Erps, Associate Director, Administration

I am lucky that I get to spend my day talking to folks with a passion for what they do.  Helping them in a small way with resources they need to take the next step with their telemedicine project.  It is always something different but with the same goal of making a difference.  I learn each day and look forward to the next.

Janet Major, Associate Director, Education and Facilities

I am thankful that I have the best job on the planet! I have the opportunity to teach people, such as genetic counselors, how to practice telegenetics.  I teach them how to communicate, using technology, to do what they are experts at doing, without being in the same room as their patients.  Using telecommunications technology to do the same thing you would do in person is my area of expertise, and I love it.  I can teach clinicians the skills they need to reach families in their communities, or their homes, so they can receive the same quality of care without driving across town or across the state.  Clinicians can do their best to treat patients and make a difference in people’s lives no matter where they live.

Kimberly Shea, Assistant Director, Telenursing

I am thankful for the ATP team. They are a committed group of professionals who take pride in their product.  I am grateful for their willingness to hear my ideas and enhance my growth, scholarly and telehealth expertise. However I am involved with the ATP team,  I receive so much more than I give. I am so grateful for my relationship with them!

Jane Erikson, Communications Specialist

I have been writing about healthcare for about 30 years. A lot of what I’ve written, first as a journalist and now a publicist, is about the barriers people encounter when they try to get necessary health care for themselves and their families. Telemedicine has broken down very many of those barriers, and it is wonderful to witness. I’m thankful to be able to share these important advances in healthcare with the public. And I’m excited to know there will be more advances to come!

About the Author

Jane Erikson's picture

Jane Erikson joined the staff of the Arizona Telemedicine Program in April 2013. She was already familiar with the program, as she previously wrote about the program during her nearly 20 years of covering health care for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. Jane has lived in Arizona most of her life and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

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