Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC)
Since 2011, MCD has been the home to the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC) that improves access to health services and resources to underserved and rural communities through the Northeast.
As COVID-19 became rampant, the NETRC’s services increased greatly throughout the region, assisting health professionals and facilities to quickly pivot to virtual means while keeping their patients safe.
The NETRC focuses on the clients’ specific needs based on their location, so a client’s needs in rural, upstate Vermont differ from those located outside of an urban area of Connecticut.
Collaborative for Advancing Rural Excellence and Equity (CARE2)
The Collaborative for Advancing Rural Excellence and Equity (CARE2) program was developed in 2022 to respond to COVID-19's impacts on the behavioral health of rural communities in northern New England and New York. Specifically, CARE2 focuses on social isolation and lack of access to behavioral health treatment for residents with substance use disorder and older adults in long-term care.
To accomplish this, CARE2 facilitates evidence-based training through Project ECHO programs and provides collaborative training resources through an open-access e-Learning portal.
CARE2 serves Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern New York, reaching a total of 77 rural counties across these four states. This region has many medically underserved populations that are challenged in receiving quality health care due to poor health insurance coverage, transportation barriers from rural communities to urban medical centers, and restricted availability of specialty care providers and support services.
Other telehealth-related initiatives
Telehealth Classroom: Evidence-based training and educational resources are available at no cost on this platform to assist regional stakeholders in successfully implementing telehealth.
Vermont Emergency Telepsychiatry Network (VETN): A partnership between the Vermont Community Foundation and the NETRC works to assess the need for an emergency telehealth psychiatry network in Vermont.
Telehealth Locator: This project curates and maps telehealth and broadband data. MCD hosts and leads this project and has surveyed more than 1,200 health facilities in the Northeast.
Supporting Regional Genetics Networks: MCD team members serve on the networks’ advisory committees and workgroups as well as assist in meetings, provide expertise, and more, specifically the New England Regional Genetics Network and the New York Mid-Atlantic Caribbean Genetis Network.
Collaborating with state offices, primary care associations, and others: For many years, MCD has worked with state offices of rural health and primary care associations in New England and New York. Our teams’ involvement includes identifying and responding to regional stakeholder needs for training and technical assistance and developing and implementing programs focused on addressing key issues in today’s health care landscape.
MCD offers a wide variety of online courses and resources tailored to health professionals of all levels, with some available in different languages. These courses are readily available online, can be taken from anywhere around the world, and include a diverse set of topics, with some being specific to New England or New York, including:
- New York State Chronic Disease Prevention Online Training Portal: A free, online programs offered to health care systems in New York, including training on high blood pressure, community health workers, and cholesterol. There are more than 3,220 users registered for the CHW training and a combined more than 2,360 for the high blood pressure and cholesterol training.
- Community Health Worker (CHW) COVID-19 e-Training module: A free module that teaches CHWs how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Community Health Worker Online Health-Related Courses: Intended for CHWs and others who assist clients in preventing, managing, and self-managing chronic conditions.
- Massachusetts Coverdell Stroke Systems of Care Online Training: A program aimed at improving the quality of stroke care through state data and collaborating with partners. There are 918 users registered for this training all from Massachusetts that include physicians, nurses, care managers, first responders, and more.