Broadband Connectivity Reaches St. Vincent Jennings Hospital

irhaBroadband Connectivity Reaches St. Vincent Jennings Hospital

Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) is pleased to announce a new participant in the Indiana Telehealth Network (ITN). ITN is collaboration between IRHA and its member institutions, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Indiana Telecommunications Association (ITA).   The ITN is funded through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program (FCC RHCPP), administered by USAC.

St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, located in North Vernon, IN, has chosen to partner with Indiana Fiber Network for their participation in the Indiana Telehealth Network.  Construction of approximately 9 miles of fiber optic cabling to the hospital was completed in November 2012.  This project not only brings broadband connectivity to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, but also creates a connection hub in Jennings County.

Kelly Dyer, CEO of Indiana Fiber Network, states, “We are pleased to work with community leaders in Jennings County to help promote the availability of the fiber optic assets and to market the excess capacity to potential users.” In order to accomplish these goals, the efforts of Kathy Ertel, Director of Jennings Economic Development Corp.; Connie Combs, Director of Sales & Marketing SEI Communications; Chris Ertel, Economic Development Corp. Board Member; and Mayor “Soup” Campbell, City of North Vernon, are to be commended for all the time, effort and resources utilized to make this happen.

“The North Vernon Redevelopment Commission knows St.Vincent Jennings Hospital well and understands that the hospital is a vital member of our community, in that it provides critical health care services to our residents.  From an Economic Development point of view, having a quality health care facility, like St.Vincent in our community, is a huge asset for us to recruit business and industry.” states Chris Ertel, EDC Board Member and TIF president. “We didn’t hesitate to provide this partnership with the matching funds for the grant for this fiber optic program.”

Kathy Ertel, Executive Director of the EDC stated, “The EDC is happy to support this project as it supports the Hospital.  We are glad SEI was able to perform the installation on this project and hopefully this will lead to more opportunities in the future.”

Don Kelso, Executive Director of IRHA added, “The Indiana Rural Health Association, along with the Indiana Telehealth Network, is very pleased that St. Vincent Jennings and the community of North Vernon are able to have broadband constructed to their area. Fiber and the bandwidth it provides will be critical for improved healthcare and enhanced economic development opportunities.”

Carl Risk, Administrator of St.Vincent Jennings Hospital commented, “I would like to thank the TIF Board for the support they provided for the redundant fiber-optic line.  I would also like to thank Indiana Fiber Network and SEI Communications for collaborating on the installation of the additional line.  Having a redundant fiber-optic line is very important to us and will help us to continue providing excellent patient care.  This will not only improve patient care at St. Vincent Jennings it will also be a benefit to the community.  We worked with the EDC to make sure the fiber route also went through the North Vernon Industrial Park area.”

Indiana Fiber Network, LLC (IFN) was formed in March of 2002, whose ownership is comprised of twenty local exchange telephone companies throughout the state. They offer data center, Internet backbone, and data transport services over a state-of-the-art fiber optic network, with service available in the State of Indiana and throughout the US via a network of national carrier partners.  For more information, please visit IFN’s website at or call 317-280-4636.

IRHA is a not-for-profit entity, subsidized by grants through the federal government, which provides various programs to critical access and rural hospitals throughout Indiana.   One such program is the ITN.  There are currently 24 hospitals around the state participating in the ITN.  The mission of the ITN is to improve the health and well-being of Indiana residents, particularly those in rural areas, through the utilization of a dedicated broadband health network to deliver telehealth applications including, but not limited to, telemedicine, health information exchange, distance education and training, public health surveillance, emergency preparedness and trauma system development.  More information on the ITN can be found on the IRHA website at under Programs/Indiana Telehealth Network.


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