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OU Health receives federal grant to support telemedicine for rural stroke patients

 OU Health telemedicine care.
Provided by OU Health
OU Health telemedicine care.

OU Health received $861,190 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support telemedicine for stroke care in rural communities.

The grant is through a federal program that will help OU Health providers connect with 23 hospitals in rural counties through telemedicine equipment. Kenneth Corn, the Department of Agriculture’s state director of rural development, said health care access in rural areas is important to the Biden Administration.

“We’re particularly pleased with this (grant) here because it’s one that is very broad-based,” Corn said. “It went all across the state from the panhandle of the southeast corner of the state to the northeast to the southwest, and it’s really going to provide a service that is lacking in Oklahoma.”

Telestroke program medical director Shyian Jen said outcomes related to stroke rates and deaths are poor in Oklahoma. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in the state, according to the most recent CDC data.

Jen said this grant will help OU Health facilitate life-saving treatment when minutes matter.

“When we can be present and bring that extra care to the local hospital, we can then facilitate quicker treatment, and that’s how we improve outcomes with regards to stroke morbidity and mortality,” Jen said.

Counties that will see the impacts of this grant include Adair, Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Cimmaron, Coal, Ellis, Grady, Harmon, Hughes, Jefferson, Kiowa, Major, Murry, Oklahoma, Pushmataha, Roger Mills, Stephens, Texas and Woods.

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Jillian Taylor has been StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter since August 2023.
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