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ECU Telemedicine Center, School for the Deaf link up

Dr. Robert Hoyer. Photo by Lamont Lowery.
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Aug. 28, 2001)   —   Students at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf now have access to specialists at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University thanks to a new telemedicine link joining the two institutions.

Staff of the ECU Telemedicine Center recently installed a telemedicine clinical exam room in the infirmary at the School for the Deaf. For several years, the physicians with the ECU Department of Pediatrics have treated ENCSD students. Telemedicine has brought greater convenience to the physicians and benefited faculty, staff and students at School for the Deaf. Dr. Thomasine Hardy, director of the School for the Deaf, said telemedicine has had a great impact on the school.

"We are very thrilled to have telemedicine be a part of our school," Hardy said. "Since the telemedicine suite has been in use at ENCSD, we have seen a decline in the number of students that needed to be sent home due to illness. This is exciting technology, and I am very honored ENCSD was chosen as a telemedicine site."

Lusella Hargrove, lead nurse at the school, added, "They (students) are able to see the physician early in their illness and receive appropriate treatment. It has been a great learning experience for the Student Health Center staff. The students are very receptive to the telemedicine experience. The majority will tell you they prefer telemedicine to a visit to the physician office."

Dr. Robert Hoyer, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine, said the telemedicine equipment and training the staff at the School for the Deaf received make his job simpler and easier. "The equipment, along with the training given at the Telemedicine Center, is really wonderful. This is a good learning experience for the kids, too. They are able to see inside their ears, inside their throat or close-up to their skin. They always seem to get a real kick out of it."

The Telemedicine Center at ECU is a national leader in the research and development of next generation Internet medical applications. The center now has telemedicine links at 22 sites across eastern North Carolina and had performed more than 7,000 telemedicine consults as of July 25. Two more hospitals are expected to be added to the list of telemedicine sites this fall.


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481