Arizona Telemedicine Blog Book - Page 6

Telemedicine advances are one of the “Top 10 health stories from Arizona in the past 125 years” By Nanc y Ro w e o n June 4, 2015 C ongratulations to The Arizona Republic on its 125 years of publishing in Arizona. As part of its anniversary celebration, the newspaper compiled several historical Top 10 lists, including “Top 10 Health Stories from Arizona in the past 125 years,” by Ken Alltucker. The list includes the 1918 flu pandemic, Arizona’s Medicaid launch, the state’s first heart-transplant surgery, formation of an early multi-hospital system (Samaritan Health, now Banner Health), hosting of a tuberculosis colony in the 1920s and 30s, producing and testing scorpion antivenom, pioneering brain surgery, making strides in genomic medicine research, the Affordable Care Act, and telemedicine advances. Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), is pleased—but not surprised— that “Telemedicine Advances” made the Top 10 list. Arizona has been a national leader in telemedicine, starting with the establishment of the ATP at the University of Arizona in 1996 at the urging of thenRepresentative Robert “Bob” Burns, whom Dr. Weinstein refers to as “an amazing 6 public servant in our state.” Dr. Weinstein was personally involved, himself, with early multispecialty telemedicine cases at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in 1968, as a resident physician, and has been doing pioneering work in telemedicine ever since. To name just a few Arizona telemedicine milestones… Since 1998, the ATP has met quarterly with the Arizona Telemedicine Council on Capitol Hill in Phoenix to present telemedicine activities and advances throughout the state. There has always been a lot to report, including the ATP’s same-day mammogram results for Native American women in Tuba City; the more than 150,000 telepsychiatry sessions between doctors and rural patients via the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority network; teleconsultations from University of Arizona specialists to doctors and patients in Nogales, Yuma, and Sells; Carondelet Health Network’s telecardiology and telestroke consultations to southern Arizona rural hospitals; and the millionplus teleradiology cases throughout the state.