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Schatz: UH Set To Receive More Than $320,000 To Launch Telehealth Pilot Project, Help More Hawai‘i Families Access Health Care

Funding Will Help About 1,000 Hawai‘i Patients Connect With Their Doctors

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawai‘i has been awarded $320,535 for its telehealth pilot project. JABSOM’s telehealth project connects patients with health care providers through video visits and provides remote treatment for a range of conditions, including mental health, opioid dependency, chronic conditions, and maternal health.

“JABSOM has put together an impressive project that uses telehealth to help connect patients across Hawai‘i with health care providers. This new funding will help launch the project and get more people the care they need,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

This money was awarded through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Connected Care Pilot Program. The program provides up to $100 million from the Universal Service Fund (USF) over a three-year period to selected applicants to support the provision of connected care services, especially for low-income and veteran patients.

JABSOM’s pilot project will serve an estimated 1,000 patients, the majority of whom are low-income or veterans, and it will have a particular focus on patients in rural areas, low-income areas, and Health Professional Shortage Areas. JABSOM will partner with the University of Hawai‘i Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center and the Hawai‘i/Pacific Area Health Education Center to provide patient digital literacy support for participating patients.

The FCC selected JABSOM’s pilot project because it focuses on expanding access to care and addressing broadband access issues for low-income, veteran, and vulnerable patient populations.

Schatz has led efforts in the Senate to expand the use of telehealth services. Last month, he reintroduced the CONNECT for Health Act, the most comprehensive bipartisan telehealth bill in Congress. Since its first iteration in 2016, several provisions from Schatz’s bill have been signed into law.