ETSU College of Nursing receives USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant

Published 5:03 pm Thursday, March 11, 2021

Funds will be used to develop telehealth infrastructure to help curb opioid crisis
JOHNSON CITY –  East Tennessee State University’s College of Nursing recently received a $121,069 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant to enhance clinical and educational opportunities for patients and students.
The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Rural Utilities Service.
“This grant will allow our college to improve the delivery of care to our communities through advanced telehealth, create more opportunities for students to collaborate with our faculty and providers virtually across our campuses and clinics, and further integrate simulation across our campuses and clinics to create more distance learning opportunities for our students,” said Mark Bodo, technology manager at the ETSU College of Nursing.
The College of Nursing clinics and students serve counties that have high unmet needs with regards to the management of the opioid crisis and provision of mental health services. The grant funds will help develop a telehealth infrastructure to provide improved and extended access to care for patients and more distance learning opportunities for students to learn how to use telehealth equipment and hone their communication, diagnostic and care management skills delivered through technology.
The predominant focus of the grant program will be on enhancing the technology infrastructure at College of Nursing clinics, including the Johnson City Community Health Center, Johnson City Downtown Day Center, Mountain City Extended Hours Health Center and Hancock County Health Center and School Based-Health Center.
The program will also target STEM education in the form of telehealth training for health care providers, as well as opioid and substance use disorder treatment.
“The grant is a win-win for students and patients as this project will link health care professionals to patients virtually, provide access to behavioral/mental health services for marginalized populations, and supply resources to address the opioid epidemic and onsite access to distance learning for health professional students,” said Bodo.
The College of Nursing would like to thank Dr. Vallire Hooper, Dr. Roslyn Robinson, Dr. Patti Vanhook and Mary James, who authored the grant.
To learn more about the ETSU College of Nursing, visit

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