How Broadband Can Promote Telehealth Equity
Telehealth has proven to be a vital lifeline during the pandemic, highlighting its ability to significantly expand access to valuable services at lower costs of care. It is critical to take specific actions to eliminate barriers associated with the equitable deployment and utilization of telehealth services. Affordable connection to the Internet is a link for vulnerable communities to access through telehealth care they need.
John Windhausen Jr., Executive Director, Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition, will present the National Perspective. John founded the SHLB Coalition in 2009 with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was the principal staff person responsible for drafting the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and served as chief legal adviser on telecom issues to Senators Fritz Hollings and Daniel Inouye.
Matt Schmit, Director of Illinois Office of Broadband, will speak on the Illinois Perspective. Matt oversaw the $420 million broadband expansion effort and is responsible for discussions between municipalities, providers, local and outside the region, to provide a better digital infrastructure that supports telehealth services. Matt is a former state senator in his native Minnesota where he helped lead successful broadband expansion efforts.
Ronda Sauget, Executive Director and CEO of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, will address the Community Perspective. Ronda is responsible for identifying and mobilizing effective partnerships to address regional economic development issues. The Leadership Council led significant telehealth efforts in the region that were made possible because of broadband expansion.