Broadband Connectivity Reaches St. Vincent Randolph Hospital in Winchester, Indiana

irha-logoIndiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) announced a new participant in the Indiana Telehealth Network (ITN). ITN is a 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 Randolph Hospital, located in Winchester, IN, has chosen to partner with Indiana Fiber Network for their participation in the Indiana Telehealth Network.  Construction of approximately 25 miles of fiber optic cabling to the hospital will begin in the coming weeks.  Construction will be completed in the summer of 2012.   This project not only brings broadband connectivity to St. Vincent Randolph Hospital, but also creates a connection hub in Randolph County.

Kelly Dyer, CEO of Indiana Fiber Network, states, “We are looking forward to working with community leaders in Randolph 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 Kevin Law, Executive Director of Randolph Economic Development Corp., and Mayor Steve Croyle, City of Winchester, are to be commended for all the time, effort and resources utilized to make this happen. “Realizing the potential big picture benefit for Winchester and Randolph County has been a rewarding process. Without the tremendous cooperation between the Winchester Redevelopment Commission, and St. Vincent Randolph Hospital, the project could never have happened.  Our next big task is to continue this momentum and proactively recruit additional partners to grow extensions from this pipeline,” said Mayor Croyle. Don Kelso, Executive Director of IRHA added, “The Indiana Rural Health Association, along with its Indiana Telehealth Network, are very pleased that St. Vincent Randolph and the community of Winchester 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.”

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 www.ifncom.net 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 www.indianaruralhealth.org under Programs/Indiana Telehealth Network.

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