The University of California-Merced will use nearly $1 million in grants to create a telemedicine center and electronically connect four rural health centers throughout the San Joaquin Valley, Calif., to specialists in area cities and other state universities, the Fresno Bee reports.
The centers will use real-time videoconferencing to connect rural patients with specialists, including dermatologists, psychiatrists and urologists (Hoagland, Fresno Bee, 9/26). The equipment will allow specialists to remotely examine patients 80 to 90 miles away at the University of California-San Francisco or the University of California-Davis.
Project leaders have a list of 100 potential sites and expect to select the four centers by spring 2008 and open them by September 2008.
Specialists participating in the program will receive compensation above their billings for the first year, Maria Pallavicini, UC-Merced's dean of natural sciences, said (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 9/27).
The projects will use the following grants:
- $500,000 from AT&T;
- $250,000 from the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley; and
- $200,000 from the California Emerging Technology Fund (Fresno Bee, 9/26).