The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

Elizabeth Krupinski PhD, James R. Mault MD, Atul Singh MS, & Dale C. Alverson MD, kick off the start of SPS 2016 Telehealth conference.

Michelle Carter had high expectations when she walked into the Regency Ballroom at the second national Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider Showcase 2016, held in Phoenix, June 21-22.

Ms. Carter, the clinical support director at Canyonlands Health Care in Page, Arizona, had attended the first Service Provider Showcase (SPS) in 2014.

“Both years, I’ve learned more and more about new and innovative ways to deliver care in the very rural communities we serve,” she said.

Seventeen states have enacted the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact so far, with 9 more states introducing Compact legislation. (Map courtesy of the Federation of State Medical Boards,

Arizona is now one of 17 states to sign on to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which provides an expedited licensing process for physicians interested in practicing in multiple states.

Another nine states have introduced legislation to join the Compact, which is expected to expand access to health care for people living in rural and underserved areas of the country, while facilitating the use of telemedicine in those areas.

June 1996 – Original Founders: Rick McNeely, Ronald Weinstein, LouAnn Preble, Robert Burns, Rachel Anderson, John Lee

Way back in 1993, Robert “Bob” Burns, then a state legislator, attended a conference in Scottsdale about the benefits of telemedicine. Delivering health care long-distance, while saving health care dollars, sounded like a great way to bring health care to Arizona’s seriously underserved rural communities. He went back to the Legislature and presented his idea for a telemedicine pilot program to fellow lawmakers. They and state budget analyst John Lee found a way to make it work.

Lynn Gerald is nationally recognized for her research on childhood asthma.

Like many first-time users of new technology, clinicians taking part in an NIH-funded study to reduce asthma morbidity in elementary school children had some doubts.

But after several months of monitoring children from a distance, using 3M Littman Bluetooth stethoscopes, they were nearly 100 percent in favor of the new technology.

The U.S. Distance Learning Association honored the Arizona Telemedicine Program with two of the association’s most prestigious awards, at its national meeting on May 10 in St. Louis.

The Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) was honored with a 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning. In addition, ATP co-founder and former state senator Robert “Bob” Burns was the recipient of the USDLA Annual Eagle Award, given annually to a public figure who has achieved national recognition for his or her commitment to furthering the goals of distance learning.

Members of the Utah coalition with Dr. Weinstein and some of the ATP Training staff after their day of training.

It’s at least a 12-hour drive from Salt Lake City, Utah, to the Arizona-Mexico border city of Nogales. But for community health workers in both of those cities, the distance has become much shorter, thanks in large part to the Arizona Telemedicine Program.

Salt Lake City is home to the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute – a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center – as well as the recently formed Community Health Worker Coalition of Utah, a project of the Utah Department of Health. The coalition is made up of about 30 organizations, including Huntsman Cancer Institute.

The European Psychiatric International Congress, held in Madrid last month, drew behavioral health professionals from around the world, including Herbert Schwager, PhD, a clinical psychologist from the town of Willow, Alaska.

Dr. Schwager was invited to the prestigious gathering to present his paper on “The 21st Century House Call.”  The paper summarized his research comparing the efficacy and patient satisfaction of face-to-face psychotherapy sessions with tele-behavioral medicine sessions, with patient and therapist meeting via secure video conference sofrware.

Dr. Schwager’s study involved 400 patients. Two hundred were followed via tele-behavioral medicine, and the other 200 in face-to-face meetings. Patients were studied over a two-year period.


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