CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today hosted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr in West Virginia for a series of telehealth demonstrations and a roundtable discussion with local leaders focused on expanding access to broadband and improving connectivity in the state.
“Because West Virginia is such a rural state, it’s harder for many individuals living in more remote communities to access health care services. Telemedicine is one way we can easily and effectively improve access to health care for so many West Virginians, but we have to have the connectivity and the infrastructure to provide these critical services,” Senator Capito said. “I invited Commissioner Carr to West Virginia to see all of the good things our state is doing related to telehealth and to also highlight how important it is that we continue working to better connect our communities. By improving our connectivity, we can not only improve our economy and West Virginians’ quality of life, but we can actually help save lives. I appreciate Commissioner Carr’s partnership in working to close the digital divide in West Virginia and across the country; and I will continue working with him, the FCC, and our state and local leaders to make that happen.”

“In West Virginia, telemedicine is bringing high-quality health care directly to patients,” Commissioner Carr said. “From telestroke applications that are reducing response times to remote ophthalmology services that lead to earlier detection of diabetes, telehealth is reducing costs and improving outcomes.  Senator Capito has been a leader in expanding access to broadband and telemedicine for West Virginia communities. I’m grateful that Senator Capito invited me to West Virginia to witness these innovations firsthand and learn more about how the FCC can help support the trend toward connected care.”
Senator Capito and Commissioner Carr began the day in Madison with a tour Boone Memorial Hospital. They also received a demonstration of the facility’s telestroke program—which allows staff to remotely determine the severity of a stroke and whether it is bleeding or non-bleeding, a potentially life-saving service.
The next stop was the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC), where Senator Capito and Commissioner Carr toured the hospital’s ophthalmology group, observed a demonstration of remote digital retina screening, and saw a telestroke consultation—all serviced made possible by telemedicine.
The day concluded with a roundtable discussion with local public- and private-sector leaders focused on broadband deployment in West Virginia and both the challenges and opportunities related to improving connectivity in the state.

07-01-2019 Commissioner Carr 001

Senator Capito and Commissioner Carr receive a demonstration of Boone Memorial Hospital’s telestroke capabilities.

07-01-2019 Commissioner Carr 002

Senator Capito and Commissioner Carr discuss the benefits to telemedicine with Boone Memorial Hospital COO Mark Linville (left).

07-01-2019 Commissioner Carr 003

Senator Capito and Commissioner Carr get a closer look at CAMC’s telehealth services.


# # #