We heard how rural providers, Texas Tech’s school-based intervention programs (TWITR), and the East Texas Interactive Health Care Network (a Rural Health Care Program participant) have implemented successful tele-psychiatry programs (including bilingual initiatives) to increase access to timely care and address conditions in Texas HPSAs.We observed how the ETHAN (Emergency Tele-Health and Navigation) Project is sharply reducing emergency department admissions for Houstonians with mental illness (by 82 percent) and increasing access to psychiatric care.We saw demonstrations of mental health management strategies that would not exist but for connectivity, including a connected, moderated platform for peer support targeting people struggling with depression, substance abuse and other mental illness. Robbins who provided opening remarks, is the largest medical center in the world and has made innovation a critical part of its clinical environment.
Indeed, we learned that 1100 psychiatrists and 200 child psychiatrists would be required to address current needs in Texas.
(Texas has the highest proportion of counties designated as mental health provider shortage areas.) “We must bring as many strategies to bear as possible,” urged Dean Francisco Fernandez, founding dean and professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.
And, true to type, we witnessed innovations spanning the connected health spectrum, from virtualized care delivery to using connectivity as an integral part of therapy.
The passion of clinicians, academicians, and and some of the most underserved parts of the country was inspiring and instructive (and, potentially replicable).
Add to this the planned AT&T Foundry for Connected Health (to open later this summer), and you can see why Houston - and Texas - are rising stars in connected health. Bernard Harris, astronaut, physician, and tech venture capitalist, and Dr.
Lex Frieden, the chief architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act — also highlighted the need for innovation and meaningful change. Harris described his trajectory from space flight to healthcare investing and his passion to bring health care to those who need it most. Frieden stressed that among people with disabilities about two-thirds are indigent.His personal experiences were a cautionary tale of designing institutions and technologies without considering the diverse needs of our communities.conference co-hosted by the renowned University of Houston Law Center’s Health Law and Policy Institute, with the Law Center’s esteemed Dean, Leonard M. Three notable themes that could inform our policymaking emerged from the conference: Keep reading to hear more in the speakers’ own words: "Texas has a lot on its plate when it comes to broadband access,” said Dr.Strover an eminent communications professor at the University of Texas at Austin, in her “State of the State” presentation discussing the kind of broadband connectivity needed to support connected mental health solutions.A continuing rural/urban divide exists, with a 13 percent broadband adoption gap in the state.“Texas would have to recruit all the psychiatrists from every residency program in the country for a full year, plus a half of all child psychiatry residents as well,” added Brian Henry, director of telehealth at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, as he poignantly illustrated the shortage of mental health professionals in the state and the need for connected solutions.