Miami's First Telemedicine-Enabled Mobile Medical Clinic to Make a Difference for Underserved Local Children

Miami's First Telemedicine-Enabled Mobile Medical Clinic to Make a Difference
                        for Underserved Local Children

Children's Health Fund, Verizon Foundation Kick Off National Health
Information Technology Initiative to Enhance Healthcare for Patients,
Communities in Need

First Telemedicine Clinic on Wheels Connects Children to University of Miami
Miller School of Medicine Specialists

PR Newswire

MIAMI, July 25, 2013

MIAMI, July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --About 15,000 children and family members
across the country in need of healthcare will benefit from an innovative
partnership under which 15 of the Children's Health Fund's mobile medical
clinics will be equipped with the latest health information technology from
the Verizon Foundation.

The partnership's national initiative launches in Miami on Thursday (July 25)
with the debut of the first telemedicine-enabled mobile medical clinic for the
Children's Health Fund Miami/South Florida program, which is operated by the
University of Miami. Children's Health Fund is the nation's leading pediatric
provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and
their families.

The Miami pediatric mobile medical clinic enables underserved local patients
to consult with specialists from the University of Miami Health System, using
UM's advanced telehealth program. The Verizon Foundation is providing the
mobile clinic with a high-speed 4G LTE wireless broadband connection and
upgraded telecommunications equipment that enable the clinic to provide
telehealth services from any of its many delivery sites.

"Children's Health Fund has been operating mobile medical clinics for 26
years, but these sophisticated technology upgrades from Verizon are helping us
to create the next generation of mobile care, with real time connectivity that
enables doctors, patients and resources at our hospital affiliates like the
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to communicate like never
before," said Jeb Weisman, PhD, Children's Health Fund chief information
officer. "The potential for better care is exciting as we work with Verizon
to develop this telemedicine capacity here in Miami, and as we collaborate on
other innovative programs across the country."

In the coming months, the Verizon Foundation and Children's Health Fund will
roll out additional health information technology projects to reach children
and families in Dallas, Detroit, New York City, Phoenix and San Francisco.
These projects include innovative uses of technology such as secure text
messaging between providers and patients.

Daniel Armstrong, PhD, executive vice chair of the department of pediatrics at
the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said: "The University of
Miami has longstanding expertise in telemedicine, but this is the first time
the technology has been made available to South Floridians in a mobile medical
clinic setting. This telemedicine system is much more than a video chat. It
allows our healthcare providers to not only see and interact with patients via
live video, but also to monitor vital signs; perform advanced screenings and
tests; and observe their outcomes – all in real time."

Access to Healthcare a Problem for Millions of Children

In the United States, millions of children don't get the healthcare they need
for a number of socioeconomic and geographic reasons. Nearly four million
children, including kids with insurance, can't get to a doctor because there
is no local public transportation or the family can't afford a car or the gas
to drive it, according to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Dr. Lisa Gwynn, medical director of the pediatric mobile clinic and assistant
professor of pediatrics at the Miller School, said: "For many families, a long
trip to a doctor means a day without work for the parent and puts their
paycheck, and potentially their employment, at risk. As a result, medical
conditions that could be prevented or cured are left untreated, and the only
healthcare many of these children receive is at the emergency room."

The Children's Health Fund's "doctor's office on wheels," which travels to
patients at schools, community centers and churches in Miami-Dade County as
far away as Homestead, is a lifeline for thousands of these children and
families that otherwise have little or no access to medical care.
Approximately 69 percent of the families who get their healthcare from UM
physicians and staff on the mobile clinic are of Hispanic/Latino origin and 20
percent are of Haitian origin. More than 75 percent have been living in the
United States for less than five years, and the vast majority – 97 percent –
is uninsured, according to Children's Health Fund.

Advanced 4G LTE Broadband Makes the Difference

The new telemedicine technology provides a secure, safe and reliable platform
for sharing patient information, as well as the acceleration of doctor
response times and the delivery of life-saving treatments. The mobile clinic
staff schedules telemedicine patient visits with specialists on specific days
– such as dermatology on Tuesdays – so care is coordinated. In the future,
cardiology, endocrinology and nutrition experts will be added to the available

The reliable 4G LTE broadband connectivity that links the mobile clinic to the
medical center requires the installation of enterprise-grade routers and small
antennas in the mobile clinic. Prior to this, healthcare professionals in the
mobile clinic could not easily connect to their patients' electronic health
records to update files, order tests, review diagnoses, make referrals or
access immunization records. Telemedicine consultations weren't possible.

UM doctors and clinic staff now are able to upload patients' records in real
time, which can reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care for
children and families.

Anthony Llompart, Verizon Foundation director of healthcare programs, said:
"Technology supporting telemedicine is not new, but this Verizon 4G LTE
solution enables the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and
Children's Health Fund pediatric mobile clinic to deliver critical specialty
care to needy children and their families – care they would normally find
difficult to receive because of geographic or financial reasons. This levels
healthcare access and quality for these families and makes the partnership
ideal for Verizon's Innovative Healthcare Initiative."

Verizon's Innovative Healthcare Initiative supports technology-enabled patient
care programs improving quality and access to care for underserved

About the Verizon Foundation:
The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the
company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education,
healthcare and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has
invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where
Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their
donations and their time, having logged more than 6.65 million hours of
service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more
information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on
Facebook ( and Twitter

About the Children's Health Fund:
Founded in 1987 by singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/advocate
Irwin Redlener, M.D., Children's Health Fund is the nation's leading pediatric
provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and
their families. Children's Health Fund's mission is to bring health care
directly to those in need through the development and support of innovative
medical programs, response to public health crises, and the promotion of
guaranteed access to health care for all children. Karen Redlener designed the
Fund's first mobile clinic, and Children's Health Fund has since deployed 50
mobile clinics, including dental and mental health vehicles, to serve hundreds
of locations across the country. Over the past 25 years, the organization has
provided three million health care visits for disadvantaged children, often in
places where doctors, dentists and other health care providers are in short
supply. For more information about Children's Health Fund, visit

About the University of Miami Miller Medical School Telehealth Program:
The University of Miami's expertise in telemedicine has been decades in the
making, first starting in 1973. The current program has been operational and
building in systems engineering, operations management, research and
development of best practices for the last 20 years. The University of Miami's
current portfolio of telemedicine services includes dermatology for the cruise
industry and Native American health facilities; pediatric specialty
consultation for both fixed and mobile clinics; a school-based telehealth
system in nine Miami-Dade schools; international trauma and critical care for
athletes; neurological services to remote locations and various initiatives in
humanitarian and disaster relief. Visit

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and
biographies, media contacts, high-quality video and images, and other
information are available at Verizon's online News Center at The news releases are available through an RSS feed.
To subscribe, visit

SOURCE Verizon

Contact: Lisa Worley, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine -
305-243-5184,; Colby Kelly, Children's Health Fund,
914-960-4555,; Chuck Hamby, Verizon - 813-615-4803, or Ellen Yu, Verizon - 908-559-2818
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.