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Page Memorial Hospital wins one-million-dollar grant

Valley Health
Page Memorial Hospital is part of the nonprofit health system Valley Health, which operates in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.

Page Memorial Hospital in Luray has been awarded a one-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address rural health challenges. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Four clinics and health systems in Virginia received grants out of the USDA's Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program. Page Memorial Hospital was awarded the largest sum. Portia Brown, vice president of the hospital, said the funding will support a number of projects –

Portia Brown 2 8.2019.jpg
Valley Health
As vice president of the hospital, Portia C. Brown is responsible for daily hospital and ambulatory clinic operations.

PORTIA BROWN: … to be able to provide a more connected network of how we can really have healthcare spread across, not only just here on the hospital campus in our primary healthcare arena, but also in the schools, and how we can connect with our chronic care patients where they're at, in their home.

The schools partnership will bring telehealth to nurses’ offices in Page County Public Schools. That means, for example, when a student comes in with an issue that the nurse would normally refer to an outside doctor, now they can get a telehealth appointment right from the school.

The grant will also go towards purchasing remote monitoring technology for chronic care patients, who have conditions like diabetes or chronic heart failure –

BROWN: … enabling them to transmit some vital data, like their blood sugar … or their blood pressures, oxygen levels, their pulse, their weight, for real-time evaluation by a community health worker or other provider.

Funding will also go to develop broadband infrastructure in the county, and support community gardens and a produce distribution program. Brown said their goal is to create initiatives that can be emulated by other rural health systems.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.