The evolution of a distance education initiative into a major telehealth project

Alexia Green, Christina Esperat, Deborah Seale, Michael Chalambaga, Sheila Smith, Glenda Walker, Patty Ellison, Bobbye Berg, Sally Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


After a five-year collaboration in distance learning, the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston School of Nursing and the Lamar University Department of Nursing in Beaumont, Texas, opened discussions during the mid-1990s about working together to establish a cutting-edge telehealth clinic. Other participants in this dialogue were the UTMB Division of Pediatric Special Services (DPSS) and the East Texas Area Health Education Center (ETAHEC). DPSS hoped to provide telehealth services for children who had to commute routinely to receive comprehensive health care. ETAHEC, which specializes in building community-academic partnerships to improve the health of populations in its service region, had already worked with members of the team, providing support for the distance education collaboration between UTMB and LU. • Several meetings between representatives from the two universities and ETAHEC resulted in the decision by LU to establish an infrastructure for distance learning that could also support telehealth activities. UTMB, which offered family nurse practitioner education at LU through the earlier distance learning initiative, had extensive experience in both distance education and telehealth. It provided the expertise to ensure that the two types of technology could be provided on the LU campus. • Eventually, a third university came on board, and the program expanded to provide services in six public schools. A single telehealth clinic, in operation for two years with over 112 client visits, has grown into a major telehealth initiative linking an academic health science center, universities, and school districts in Texas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalNursing and Health Care Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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