allows continuity of care"
- Amy Jelliffe, MD
get timely care (through telelmedicine)."
-Beth Caspian, MD
need for telemedicine
of Northern Arizona is made up of sporadic and
isolated population centers, separated from each
other by harsh desert landscapes, mountains, the
Grand Canyon, and Native American reservations.
The Northern Arizona region covers 66,000 square
miles and encompasses six counties: Mohave, Yavapai,
Coconino, Navajo, Gila, and Apache. The entire population
of this area is approximately 798,999: 12% of the state's population (according to 2015 Census estimates).
Arizona is a Mental Health Professional Shortage
Area, where access to mental health care can
involve lengthy travel and long wait times.
With a service population that is 20% Native
American and 14% Hispanic, issues of cultural
differences and linguistics, along with issues
of stigma associated with mental health care,
create barriers for those needing services.
the remote, rural towns of Northern Arizona,
behavioral health care provider agencies face
challenges in recruiting and retaining psychiatrists
and psychiatric nurse practitioners. The time
involved in traveling to see patients and the
isolation from continuing medical education
and peers often translate to a constant turnover
in all areas of rural health care. This problem
is acknowledged in “The President’s
New Freedom Commission on Mental Health: Final
Report, July 2003.”
telemedicine network, HCICnet, was set up
to address the shortage of psychiatrists in
rural Northern Arizona. It allows behavioral
health practitioners to provide clinical services
to patients at remote locations through two-way,
interactive videoconferencing, sparing both
practitioners and patients the time and expense
of long-distance travel and giving patients
ready access to psychiatric services in their
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