Cenizo Journal Summer 2022 | Page 21

Through funding from the Texas Support Libraries ( TLS ) Grant , the library modeled their Virtual Conferencing Center after a center designed by Pottsboro , Texas library director Dianne Connery . According to Connery , Fort Davis is just one of twenty libraries in the country , both city and rural , that have a telehealth program . In under six months , for less than $ 8,000 , the room was outfitted with a high speed computer , side lights for visual assessment , a blood pressure monitor , oximeter , scale , and a sit-to-stand table to accommodate patient needs . The last component to be installed is a health information kiosk featuring a user-friendly touchscreen with accurate , vetted information about mental and physical health resource information , as well as online health games in multiple languages .
Bishop reflected on the wealth of benefits telehealth can provide . “ In addition to medical practitioners , families could have access to
Lupe Rubio uses self-directed blood pressure cuff . any more serious issues , people have to travel a minimum of three hours to get to El Paso or Midland / Odessa . That ’ s a long way to go for a 15-minute appointment for anyone , but for elderly folks it ’ s especially difficult . When COVID hit and doctors started offering patients online appointments , we thought this would be a great time for us to bring telehealth to our library .”
In a recent report , the CDC ’ s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion noted that , “ People who live in rural areas of the United States are more likely than urban residents to die prematurely from all of the five leading causes of death : heart disease , cancer , unintentional injury , chronic lower respiratory disease , and stroke . Telehealth can be an effective approach for communication and counseling . Better monitoring can improve patients ’ quality of life and reduce hospital admissions and deaths from chronic diseases . In addition , telehealth is a good way to deliver care quickly in an emergency , such as a stroke .” social workers , family counselors and other resources helpful to their particular situation or their child ' s circumstances , services not accessible to our community .”
Diane Ferrell , the Director of Development and External Relations at Dayton Metro Library in Dayton , Ohio , explains why telehealth centers in libraries can provide a lifeline to many patrons : “ The most obvious reason many associate with the benefits of telemedicine is the lack high speed internet or the camera-enabled computers in the home . What ’ s often overlooked though , is the lack of privacy to have a safe , confidential conversation about a highly personal health matter or interpersonal issue with someone who might be in the household . By having a room at the library , the person can just say , ‘ I ’ m going to the library ,’ and meet with their provider without the fear of being overheard or judged .”
As Jeff Davis County Library continues to evolve as a hub for community learning , connection and wellness , Bishop sees the private and confidential telehealth room as a vital component the

Cenizo Summer 202221