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Sullivan Thanked for Telemedicine Expansion in Oklahoma

US Congressman John Sullivan, with assistance from nurse practitioner Sheryl Stansifer, checks out his heart beat using telemedicine technology at OSU Center for Health Sciences in TulsaTulsa, Okla. – Making health care more accessible to Oklahomans is a top priority of U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, champion of recent telemedicine
expansion at Oklahoma State University Center
for Health Sciences. The lawmaker visited the
Tulsa campus Wednesday to personally experience the emerging technology.

Sullivan and his staff were introduced to STAN
and MIMI, mobile telemedicine carts designed at OSU. The unique bedside and exam room carts allow rural physicians to consult with specialists
in larger cities using audio, video and the Internet to exchange medical information. Sullivan recently helped secure $430,000 to install these cost effective telemedicine suites in Oklahoma’s rural
hospitals and to support other rural health
initiatives coordinated by OSU.

“Our primary goal is to improve the health of rural Oklahomans,” says Richard Wansley, Ph.D., vice president for sponsored programs, research and institutional advancement for the OSU Center for Health Sciences. “Thanks to Sullivan’s leadership, along with support from U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, these funds will continue to help build a medical lifeline for rural Oklahoma.”

Telemedicine can be used for everything from cardiology and radiology to dermatology and psychiatry. OSU currently manages and operates the state’s largest telemedicine network with 24 telemedicine suites and 20 additional distance-learning sites to help small town doctors stay up-to-date in their rural practice.

“This federal funding combined with state dollars will allow OSU to expand to 70 rural telemedicine sites within the next five years. Patients in non-metropolitan areas will now begin to have the same access to specialized health care as residents of large cities,” adds Wansley.

While in Tulsa, Sullivan visited OSU medical students who were the first in the nation to receive hands-on telemedicine training. The congressman had his heart, ears and throat examined in Tulsa via telemedicine from the Henryetta Medical Center.