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Partners Offer Telemedicine, Expanded Pediatric Services in South Georgia

Children's Hospital, Tift Regional and Georgia Partnership for Telehealth Unite

MACON, GA (Friday, August 28, 2015) - Children's Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent (CHNH) in Macon, Ga. and Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) in Tifton, Ga. have joined with Georgia Partnership for Telehealth (GPT), a nonprofit organization promoting the establishment of telemedicine programs in communities throughout Georgia, to establish a pediatric telemedicine clinic at TRMC.

The partnership will benefit pediatric patients living in rural areas of south Georgia who will no longer need to travel to Macon for physician appointments with CHNH's numerous pediatric, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric endocrinology specialists. Instead, the patients may travel the much shorter distance to Tifton and - through telemedicine - be seen by the Macon specialists at TRMC.

The partners plan to hold their first telemedicine appointment on Friday, August 28.

“Navicent Health, Tift Regional Health System and Georgia Partnership for Telehealth are committed to serving patients in the right place at the right time, and for the right cost. Through telemedicine, patients may remain close to home for the healthcare services that they need while continuing to receive the high quality services and personalized care  they have enjoyed at Children's Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, President and CEO of Navicent Health.

Many CHNH patients currently travel two to three hours for physician appointments in Macon. This not only requires the child to miss a school day, but also causes the parent or caregiver to miss a day of work while incurring travel expenses. CHNH, TRMC and GPT hope to relieve this burden through the new telemedicine clinic.

“This clinic will be incredibly convenient for families in south Georgia, and we are pleased to offer this option to those pediatric patients who need specialized care. In addition, patients will be able to obtain all ordered diagnostic and laboratory testing at Tift Regional without having to travel to Macon. Each member of this partnership is committed to providing convenient, cost effective, high quality care for our region's pediatric patients,” said William T. Richardson, CEO of TRMC.

The partnership will not only benefit patients and families in rural areas, but will allow CHNH to see additional patients in the Macon area. The partners hope to provide additional pediatric subspecialties, such as pediatric hematology and pediatric oncology, to the Tifton area in the future.

Atrium Health Navicent and Tift Regional Health System are founding members of Stratus Healthcare, a non-equity collaborative of hospitals, health systems and providers dedicated to keeping healthcare local with the goal of improving outcomes, enhancing the patient experience and increasing efficiency as required by healthcare reform. TRMC also partners with GPT to provide telemedicine services for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, the first college in the state to house a telemedicine clinic.