CALEXICO — Valley residents seeking endocrinology medical services have more local access beginning this week with the availability of a telemedicine program.
Telemedicine connects patients with medical specialists from out of the area through the use of an interactive monitor screen and tools.
The telemedicine program is funded by a California Healthcare Foundation grant secured by the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District.
“Not everyone can go up to San Diego to see specialists. With this, they can,” Heffernan board president Gloria Grijalva said.
Heffernan board members got an up-close, hands-on look at the service Wednesday during a visit to Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo in Calexico where the telemedicine program services will be offered.
“It’s a privilege to have this service. Obviously the benefit is for the community,” said Hector Perez, a registered nurse and Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo nurse supervisor.
The University of California, San Diego, provides the equipment as well as specialist physicians.
The telemedicine service will be offered between 8 a.m. and noon on the first Friday of each month with plans to expand hours and services in the future.
Friday, the first day of the program, is already booked up, and one of the first patients used to have to go to San Diego for services.
Patients have healthcare professionals with them for parts of the telemedicine visit, but otherwise all the work is done from afar with the specialist able to zoom in or even review heartbeats.
Medical information is immediately transmitted and can be seen just as clearly as if the doctor was in the room.
Heffernan board member Sylvia Bernal said the program brings services within reach to those who are ill and don’t have a car or find it difficult to use public transportation.
“People here need to know the Heffernan district is providing services to Calexico,” she added. “A lot of people wouldn’t go and see a specialist without this opportunity.”
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com
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