Tom Bebbington

UNH’s Center for Digital Health Innovation (formerly the Telehealth Practice Center) recently received a $129,746.00 USDA Rural Development grant to equip sites in Strafford, Sullivan, Carroll and Grafton counties in New Hampshire and Kennebec County in Maine with video conferencing, assistive technologies, and virtual reality equipment. This equipment will allow health professionals and students located on campus to offer virtual reality-based mental health and physical rehabilitation services to these underserved rural areas. The six community sites include libraries, a youth and senior center, and a Cooperative Extension office, serving a total of approximately 70,000 rural residents.
“Libraries and community youth and senior centers are at the heart of rural communities. We are excited to partner with them to increase access to innovative health technologies, and to expose graduate and undergraduate health students to the needs of rural communities,” says Marguerite Corvini, EdD, MSW, Director of the Center for Digital Health Innovation. 
USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants  help rural communities use technology to overcome the challenges posed by remoteness and low population density. The grants may fund the purchase of audio, video, and interactive equipment, broadband facilities used for distance learning or telemedicine, computer hardware, network components, and software, and instructional programming.