University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock has received a $450,000 federal grant that will go toward a new telemedicine program to provide care and services to traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors.
The three-year grant, according to a news release, is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living and will be applied to The Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program State Funding Opportunity.
The Arkansas Department of Health is contributing $75,000 annually toward the program, according to the release.
Among the goals of the program, according to the release, are incorporating telemedicine and other technologies into TBI services to survivors, raising awareness of clinical and educational services for survivors, caregivers and families in Arkansas and improving communication and coordination of those services through statewide partnerships.
“Telemedicine continues to grow and expand to better serve historically underserved patient populations in Arkansas,” said Dr. Curtis Lowery medical director of the Center for Distance Health, said in the release. “As all community physicians and the public continue to gain experience with telemedicine as a tool to improve health care, all of us continue to find new applications for it and patients who can benefit from it.”
UAMS is the only adult Level 1 Trauma Center in Arkansas and the state’s only health sciences university. The Center for Distance Health was established in 2007. It nationally is recognized for its more than 20 telemedicine programs and more than 450-site statewide telemedicine network.
Established in 2013, the state registry of TBI survivors documents 1,086 moderate-to-severe TBI survivors. Many survivors living in Arkansas are undocumented, though, and 53% of them are older than 40 and many live in rural areas, which are underserved by providers.