Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 12, 2015

First College Campus in Georgia Offers Telemedicine

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) has teamed up with Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth (GPT), making it the first college campus in Georgia to offer telemedicine.

GPT is a not-for-profit corporate organization focused on creating easier access to healthcare through innovative use of technology. The agency focuses on telemedicine, health information exchange and telehealth. ABAC, located in Tifton, Georgia, will help expand telemedicine to more students, professors and health care providers.

ABAC will add a telemedicine clinic to its existing health campus, assisting with GPT’s plan to strengthen the presence of telemedicine across the state. The technology will become a part of ABAC’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences nursing program curriculum. 

According to Troy Spicer, the Dean of ABAC’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences it was a twist of fate, thanks to Tammy Carter ABAC’s rural studies professor that the school was given the opportunity to work with GPT.

"If you want to talk about serendipity and things happening for a reason, this telemedicine project would be it. Tammy was leading a rural studies call and asked Loren Nix from GPT to come in to talk to the students about telemedicine. After the class ended I overheard Loren discussing with Tammy having telemedicine at ABAC and in the nursing program. That conversation lead to the groundbreaking things we are doing with GPT at ABAC today. Our program is in its infancy stage and is already the first of its kind in the state. With a little more time and minimal effort, I know this program could change the lives of students and the learning environment even more than it already has” Stated Spicer.

Not only does the new telemedicine clinic allow students to learn and engage with the new technology, it gives students to opportunity to see a physician that is partnered with Tift Regional Medical Center if no one is available to assist the student on campus. The school hopes to incorporate telemental health into student services- giving students access to psychiatrists in the GPT’s network.

Professor Tammy Carter expresses the important for telemedicine can play on ABAC’s campus. ”This technology will mean a lot for our counselors on campus. With students, you can recognize a problem and refer that student to a psychiatrist or specialist, but they may not have the ability to get to that doctor. The new telemedicine program at ABAC will allow the continuity of care and medication management if needed” Stated Carter.

ABAC is taking important steps by adopting this new technology. Educating students on this new technology and expanding GPT’s professional network, the college is helping GPT achieve its goal of eventually providing worldwide access to healthcare. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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