Thundermist awarded $128K federal grant for telehealth program

THUNDERMIST HEALTH CENTER has received a $128,347 grant from the Federal Communications Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program. / COURTESY THUNDERMIST HEALTH CENTER

PROVIDENCE – A federal grant awarded to Thundermist Health Center last week will help fund telehealth services at the health care provider, which has increasingly relied on virtual visits to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the $128,347 grant from the Federal Communications Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, Thundermist plans to invest in a telehealth platform and upgrade its telecommunications equipment, including computers, to establish telehealth options for medical, dental and behavioral health care while the health crisis persists.

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation of Sen. Jack Reed, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. James R. Langevin and Rep. David N. Cicilline announced the grant in a joint statement.

“Thundermist has always been a top performer in Rhode Island health care. This federal funding will allow Thundermist to put in place a modern, convenient system to care for patients remotely during this pandemic,” Whitehouse said. “The increased availability of telehealth services in recent months is changing our health care system for the better.”

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In 2018, Thundermist, which cares for underserved and uninsured people, saw more than 48,000 patients at its sites in Woonsocket, West Warwick and South Kingstown.

“This funding allows us to ensure seamless access to care for patients during the pandemic,” said Jeanne LaChance, CEO and president of Thundermist Health Center. “Telehealth solutions are critical to keep both high-risk patients and providers safe while continuing to deliver the highest-quality care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, HIV and opiate use disorder.”

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.

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