Pottsboro Library teaming with UNT medical school for telemedicine program

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 6:15 PM CST
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POTTSBORO, Texas (KXII) - The next time you need a doctor, you might be making a trip to a library.

The Pottsboro Library is partnering with the University of North Texas Health Science Center to connect health care providers with people in rural areas.

“Virtual health or telehealth brings it where the people are,” said Jessica Maack Rangel, the Vice Provost of Academic Innovation at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

They heard about the library’s telemedicine program through the National Library of Medicine.

“And it provided the opportunity for people to see this is where we’re going, this is where medicine is going,” Rangel said.

In rural areas like Pottsboro, a major issue is transportation.

“Because when you think about rural communities, and how far someone has to drive just to get access to health care, it’s probably not going to happen,” Rangel said.

The university and library are working to create a model program for rural libraries across the country.

Pottsboro Library Director Dianne Connery says she’s gotten calls from Idaho and New York State Libraries, and researchers in Virginia.

“Especially with COVID and budget cuts, this is the perfect time for libraries to re-imagine their role in the community,” Connery said.

Patients can schedule an appointment and come to this private room in the library to visit virtually with a doctor.

The room is well-ventilated with its own entrance.

Plus, it will only be open during hours when the library’s closed.

Rangel says telemedicine could become the new normal.

“We want the community to become well. So we just want to be a part of that, it’s exciting, and this particular community is truly leading the way,” Rangel said.

They’ll bill your insurance or however you would pay at the doctor.

The telemedicine room will be open to patients on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons starting January 12.

To schedule an appointment, you can call the UNT Health Science Center at 817-735-7675.

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