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Governor announces funding to support telehealth access

Telehealth Announcement
WAOW Television
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Governor Tony Evers announced a $5 million expansion to telehealth services in the Badger State on Wednesday.

It involves bolstering child mental health services and establishing neighborhood telehealth access points.

"Telehealth isn't new, but it really hasn't been embraced in the way that it has recently," said Dr. Robert Gouthro, Chief Medical Officer at North Central Health Care.

But what if you don't have reliable internet?

That's a problem Governor Evers is trying to help solve, with half of the grant money going to establish those telehealth access points in communities.

They'd be found in places like food pantries, homeless shelters, libraries, long term care facilities and more.

While it's an answer for some struggling with internet access, it's limited, as it'll only provide one year grants to up to 50 providers.

Governor Evers himself seemed to acknowledge its limits.

"We're hopeful that it makes a huge dent but as we go forward if it looks like some more resources will be needed... next budget [that] comes along, I'm sure legislators would love to help us out in this arena," he said.

Cate Wylie, administrative coordinator for Lincoln County and board member at NCHC, says she hopes it will add fuel to the fire to help lawmakers recognize the larger need for internet access and assistance.

"It's very nice that we're getting the recognition for rural counties that we need to help us," she said. "We need the help."

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