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Health Center Seeks Funding for Video Link to Cleveland Clinic

Oct. 12, 2007 — A proposal by the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center would set up a tele-medicine link giving patients access to several thousand specialists on the staff of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.
Health center Administrator Harold Wallace and Dr. Mercedes Dullum of the Cleveland Clinic made a presentation Friday to about 20 members of the Rotary Club of St. John and guests at the Westin Resort and Villas Beach Cafe, seeking funding for the equipment needed to fulfill the $81,000, three-year contract.
If Rotary decides it can't foot the entire bill, private philanthropists could be tapped to help, but that would delay implementing the system, Wallace said. The system could come on line quickly if Rotary decides to fund the project, he said.
Rotary Club President Joan Bermingham said after the meeting that Rotary will discuss the matter at its next board meeting, but that the organization hadn't made any decision on the funding.
"Our club couldn't do it alone … we'd have to get other clubs involved," she said, noting that those clubs could come from the mainland.
If the Rotary board agreed to Myrah Keating's proposal, it would apply for matching grant funds from the Rotary district and Rotary International, Bermingham said.
Dullum works at the Cleveland Clinic's facility near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She showed a film of a Cleveland Clinic physician consulting with a heart patient via an Internet video line. The ability to consult remotely means patients don't have to travel to a Cleveland Clinic facility, she said.
Those who need surgery or other procedures can have their evaluations and post-procedure work done at their home facility, Dullum said.
"It's cost-effective," she said. "They don't have to fly, and the health center doesn't have to invest in a specialist."
The tele-medicine system also allows for rapid diagnosis and treatment, Dullum said. And patients can get a second opinion without leaving St. John, she said. St. John patients would have access to doctors in both Florida and Cleveland.
The Cleveland Clinic has set up similar systems at resorts on remote islands, far-flung communities in the United States and abroad, large yachts and in prisons, Dullum said.
In response to questions, she said the Cleveland Clinic accepts health insurance written in the Virgin Islands.
Patients or their insurance plans would pay the cost of the office visit at Myrah Keating, plus the cost of consulting, Wallace said. No fee schedule has been set, he said.
St. John-based doctors not on Myrah Keating's staff would have to set up their own tele-medicine system with the Cleveland Clinic or have a contract with Myrah Keating to access the service, Wallace noted.
The service will be available only on St. John, not at Roy L. Schneider Hospital — even though both come under the Schneider Medical Center umbrella.
"This is strictly for Myrah Keating," he said.
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Oct. 12, 2007 -- A proposal by the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center would set up a tele-medicine link giving patients access to several thousand specialists on the staff of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.
Health center Administrator Harold Wallace and Dr. Mercedes Dullum of the Cleveland Clinic made a presentation Friday to about 20 members of the Rotary Club of St. John and guests at the Westin Resort and Villas Beach Cafe, seeking funding for the equipment needed to fulfill the $81,000, three-year contract.
If Rotary decides it can't foot the entire bill, private philanthropists could be tapped to help, but that would delay implementing the system, Wallace said. The system could come on line quickly if Rotary decides to fund the project, he said.
Rotary Club President Joan Bermingham said after the meeting that Rotary will discuss the matter at its next board meeting, but that the organization hadn't made any decision on the funding.
"Our club couldn't do it alone ... we'd have to get other clubs involved," she said, noting that those clubs could come from the mainland.
If the Rotary board agreed to Myrah Keating's proposal, it would apply for matching grant funds from the Rotary district and Rotary International, Bermingham said.
Dullum works at the Cleveland Clinic's facility near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She showed a film of a Cleveland Clinic physician consulting with a heart patient via an Internet video line. The ability to consult remotely means patients don't have to travel to a Cleveland Clinic facility, she said.
Those who need surgery or other procedures can have their evaluations and post-procedure work done at their home facility, Dullum said.
"It's cost-effective," she said. "They don't have to fly, and the health center doesn't have to invest in a specialist."
The tele-medicine system also allows for rapid diagnosis and treatment, Dullum said. And patients can get a second opinion without leaving St. John, she said. St. John patients would have access to doctors in both Florida and Cleveland.
The Cleveland Clinic has set up similar systems at resorts on remote islands, far-flung communities in the United States and abroad, large yachts and in prisons, Dullum said.
In response to questions, she said the Cleveland Clinic accepts health insurance written in the Virgin Islands.
Patients or their insurance plans would pay the cost of the office visit at Myrah Keating, plus the cost of consulting, Wallace said. No fee schedule has been set, he said.
St. John-based doctors not on Myrah Keating's staff would have to set up their own tele-medicine system with the Cleveland Clinic or have a contract with Myrah Keating to access the service, Wallace noted.
The service will be available only on St. John, not at Roy L. Schneider Hospital -- even though both come under the Schneider Medical Center umbrella.
"This is strictly for Myrah Keating," he said.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.