TeleHealth News


July 13, 2017




  "All over the southwestern states, the owners of the land came onto the land, or more often, someone came for them. All of the owners told their tenants the same thing: 'You know the land's getting poorer. The bank has to have profits all the time. It can't wait for the next year's crops. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families. You'll have to go.'
  Then the tractors came over the roads and into the fields. They drove through fences and houses to make space for even larger fields."
  We all remember the story. We read it in high school. It was required reading. It still is! It is from the "Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck"
  These folks were pushed off their home, land, even state and country and we should recall the terrible welcome awaiting them elsewhere. Many died on their exodus and many more arrived sick and injured. And ….
  Today hundreds of thousands of our citizens are destitute and homeless. Many have become so depressed and helpless they have succumbed to drugs, alcohol, even suicide. So much so that our country is facing an unprecedented tragedy.
  In middle American states like Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and others, the middle age white man's rate of death has increased by over three hundred percent. Most deaths are due to drugs, alcoholism, and suicide. A CDC report indicates that, the rate from suicide or unintentional death due to substance abuse has increased dramatically in recent years. The tragedy is not just the loss of these people but often that of the family they leave behind. A new increasing problem is the fate of many children left parentless. Many seniors suddenly find themselves having to care for their very young grandchildren.
  A recent report from Brookings Institution by Ann Case and the Nobel laureate; Sir Angus Deaton, reveals the tremendous burden to our society, these "Deaths of despair" are creating.
 But are we missing something? There are nearly seventy million displaced people around the world. The majority are in much worse predicament than any of us. Yet the suicide rate among them is much less than ours. Many Europeans too have suffered in these economic upheavals, but we don’t see them killing themselves. The refugee population shows families staying together, even in their plight of leaving their homeland. During the great depression too, families were close. When the going got bad, families coalesced and helped each other to keep moving. So, is today's family structure a problem or are we looking at something entirely different? No matter what the problem though, when depression sets in, many will turn to their family healthcare providers for help. Many of us are ill equipped and not trained to deal with this dilemma and may overlook the basic principle underlying this conundrum. How we treat them will determine whether we solve or add to the overall harm of the crisis.
  One caveat is the technology at our disposal. Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Tele-education is still not adequately implemented in dealing with these problems in our society. Using Telemedicine and Tele-education to provide help can drastically reduce the burden of dealing with the intricacies of the dilemma. Especially to our colleagues in rural areas where the problem seems to be ever more acute and at times hopeless. As more information become available, we can rapidly educate ourselves and our colleagues through these tools. Maybe we can't replace the family support or resolve the underlying economical and social obstacles but we can educate ourselves properly and provide solace by showing that we care! [ R. G. ]


In the News:

Learn about ATA's Special Interest Groups (SIGs), 
Chapters, and Discussion Groups.

For Opioids' Youngest Victims, Is Help Too Little, Too Late? 

As Demand for At-Home Care Grows, States Debate How to Pay for It

 3 Of 4 UNM Health Sciences Deans Depart

More Millennials Are Having Strokes
Scientific American

Breastfeeding and the Risk of Maternal Cardiovascular Disease: 
A Prospective Study of 300 000 Chinese Women


Antibiotic resistance gonorrhea

A new approach to tackling drug-resistant bacteria
EC Research & Innovation

Ground-to-satellite quantum teleportation by Chinese Scientists
Cornell University

For more relevant news checkout our website.


Of Interest:

Native American Wisdom

It takes a thousand voices to tell
a single story.

Poverty is a noose that strangles
humility and breeds disrespect
for God and man. - Sioux

Don't let yesterday use up
too much of today. - Cherokee

Do not judge your neighbor until
you walk two moons in
his moccasins. - Cheyenne


How can TeleHealth help your Practice:

Help overcome the opioid
epidemic. Consider expanding
your practice to the rural areas
of our state through TeleHealth.

Ask us how.

Many state laws, including NM,
require insurance companies to
pay for TeleHealth consultation.


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Useful links:

American Telemedicine Association
Assoc. of Clinicians for the Underserved
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Con Alma Health Foundation
Directory of State Medical Boards
Federation of State Medical Boards
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
National Rural Health Association
New Mexico Broadband Program
New Mexico Department of Health
New Mexico First
NM Health Resources
NM legislature
Upcoming NM Legislative meetings
NM Medical Board
NM Rural Hospital Network
UNM Center for Telehealth
UNM Project ECHO
World Health Organization (WHO)


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