Telemedicine Training Programs May 24, September 13 and March 15, July 19, November 8 2021
Local First Arizona Economic Recovery Center
United State Distance Learning Association seeks applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
Other Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
Rural Development Innovation Center Innovation Website and Newsletter provides a listing of funding opportunities, events and resources in rural America
Updates and Events
AZ Telehealth Legislation Expands Telehealth Services In Arizona House Bill 2454 New Arizona Law Will Be Broadest In The Nation
Governor Ducey recently signed House Bill 2454 that puts Arizona at the national forefront of telemedicine. It expands access to telemedicine for patients, ensures doctors receive equal compensation from insurance companies for telemedicine services, and allows out-of-state health care professionals to provide telemedicine in Arizona. Under the bill, medical examinations in the worker’s compensation space can also be conducted via telehealth if all parties consent. It also prohibits healthcare boards from enforcing any rule that requires a patient to visit in-person before being prescribed most medications.
HB 2454 will make telemedicine services provided to Arizonans through the Governor’s Executive Order last March permanent. This order required health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit, and was instituted to ensure that Arizonans who may be sick or under quarantine could access care from their homes and avoid potentially risky trips to a health care provider. In signing the bill Governor Ducey said. “Telehealth expands access to medical services for low-income families and those living in rural areas, protects vulnerable populations, and allows snowbirds visiting our state to receive telemedicine from their home state. Patients and medical professionals know what’s best for their needs, and we’re working to make sure they have access to those services.
Arizona And FCC EBB Emergency Broadband Program Campaign
On May 12 the FCC will officially launch the new Emergency Broadband Program. As you may know, the EBB addresses the unprecedented need by low-income households for affordable digital access resources including Internet and devices such as computers and cell phones. The EBB provides eligible households a subsidy of up to $50 per month on Internet service, or $75 per month for those living on Tribal lands. The EBB may also provide eligible households a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop or tablet computer. It is urgent that we get the word out and help eligible low-income households register for this program ASAP. EBB is a limited funding and limited duration benefit program so we need to act now to help Arizona low-income consumers get signed up before time and money run out.
Arizona EBB Campaign and Toolkit A statewide Arizona coalition of government, education and nonprofit organizations is asking for your participation in a statewide campaign to get eligible households signed-up ASAP. We know that for many people signing up for government programs can be scary and complicated so we are asking schools, libraries, non-profit and faith-based organizations, social service and health care agencies, and local and state governments to help get the word out to your constituencies about the EBB program, and to help them register for these benefits. The AZBSN COVID-19 Digital Access Task Force is participating in the Coalition, led by Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, School Connect, Common Sense Media and United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, in cooperation with many other government and nonprofit organizations such as the Arizona Rural Schools Association, the Arizona Telemedicine Program, the Arizona Department of Education, and economic development organizations. They are collaborating on a promotion strategy and EBB Toolkitto make it easier for your organization to access the information you may need. The toolkit was developed to share with your networks, school districts, education leaders, nonprofits, community organizations and others.
The toolkit is housed on the Connect Arizona website, which also provides resources and guidance for individuals needing virtual learning opportunities for students, access to free WIFI hotspots and digital tech support. The toolkit includes:
A PDF showing step-by-step instructions on how individuals can apply for EBB discounts
An Emergency Broadband Benefit FAQ sheet
The FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit program guide
A Flyer in English outlining the program and eligibility requirements
A Flyer in Spanish outlining the program and eligibility requirements
A Half-page flyer in English that can be printed and distributed locally
A Half-page flyer in Spanish that can be printed and distributed to locally
A sample email to use as a template to share out to your networks
Here Is How You Can Help
Become an Outreach Partner. Get your organization involved to help get the word out to your constituencies about the EBB program, and to help them register for these benefits.
Identify a Point of Contact within your organization to learn about the EBB, and the processes to help eligible consumers sign-up and take advantage of these programs
Print and distribute EBB flyers to your constituents
Help Get Arizona Partners Signed-Up For EBB - Send an Email We are asking you to help get the word out to your contacts and networks to recruit partner organizations and Navigators/Points of Contact. Feel free to use the attached email templates as is, or modify it for your needs. You can remove our logo and add yours, and change it any way that will be most useful for you. We know people will be more responsive receiving communication from people and organizations they know and trust. We suggest you cut and paste info into an email rather than sending an attachment.
Three AARP Articles: Tech Resources for Seniors including Training and and Help to Get or Upgrade Computers and Internet Access
Article 1 AARP Emergency Broadband Benefits Program: AARP has long worked for low-cost internet solutions for older Americans, who need high-speed broadband for teleworking, medical and health-related information and news, online health-care consultations with doctors and nurses, and interacting with loved ones and friends, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. See Article Here
Article 2 Technology Skills Training. Senior Planet and its parent organization, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), a nonprofit organization that specializes in teaching technology skills to older adults, is uniting with AARP to offer its courses to even more older adults nationwide — for free. AARP is collaborating with OATS to expand its offerings and make them known to a wider audience through AARP’s new Virtual Community Center. Senior Planet programs are designed to teach adults 60 and older basic and advanced computer skills. Its interactive online classes, offered in English, Spanish and Chinese, are free to anyone of any age. About 50 classes are on the schedule each week. The relationship with AARP allows both organizations to help more people learn the computer skills they need now more than ever because so many activities and events are available only online. AARP has two places to sign up for free online classes and workshops: Senior Planet’s upcoming events and AARP’s Virtual Community CenterSee the Article Here
Article 3 Devices and Internet Access Resources: This Article provides info and links to resources for seniors that offer free personal computers or tablets or discounted internet access. City governments, nonprofits and communications companies across the country are stepping up to remedy the deficiencies in technology. Pockets of seniors in many communities are using new laptops or tablets with free internet and training, courtesy of partnerships aimed at averting the ill effects of isolation.See the Article Here
Join the Institute for Digital Progress (iDP), Arizona State University, Arizona Commerce Authority and Sun Corridor Network for the official kick-off and overview of the “Lighting Up the Future” vision document -- our big, bold vision for the future of broadband and digital equity for all Arizonans. This event will kickoff a series of nine virtual roundtables which will unite local state officials, civic and organizational leaders, technologists and changemakers are geographically distributed across Arizona -- three available for those in southern AZ, three for central AZ and three for northern AZ. These workshops will be designed to prioritize interactions between community members and the nurturing of a positive, sustaining culture. Information and Registration Download The Draft Plan
Arizona Broadband Workshops Arizona Broadband Workshops Website The Arizona Commerce Authority, in cooperation with BroadbandUSA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) is presenting a new webinar series — the Arizona Broadband Workshops. Sessions will be offered on the first Wednesday of every month from 10 am to 12 pm, March through July. Through interactive exercises and discussions, city officials, economic developers and business leaders who attend will be connected with resources to build a roadmap for planning projects, including identifying funding opportunities and service providers.
Federal Resources and Local Support For Broadband: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, June 2 on Zoom. Broadband projects often require a mix of investment sources. Our panel of experts will highlight some of the Federal, State, local, and philanthropic programs that could be available to support broadband infrastructure and digital inclusion programs. REGISTER
Tribal Broadband: This Session Specific To Tribal Communities - Invitation Only. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, June 9 on Zoom
Arizona is prioritizing critical broadband projects in underserved tribal locations across the state. In this session, the Kristine FireThunder, director of the Governor’s Office on Tribal Relations, will facilitate a discussion on strategies to build tribally-owned networks and further support tribal learning centers and digital training, including information on available financing and funding, community resources and more.
Broadband Adoption and Use - The Secret To Sustainable Networks: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, July 14 on Zoom
This session will draw from national and local models to explore new ways to bridge the digital divide and dive deep on topics such as: digital skills training, WiFi hotspots, broadband subsidies and tech mentoring. Practitioners in education, nonprofits and more will facilitate exercises to identify your community’s underserved segments and partners to reach those populations. REGISTER
Past Webinar Recordings
Broadband 101 - Broadband As A Foundation To Economic DevelopmentJoin us for the first session in the Arizona Broadband Workshop series, featuring a variety of experts from the Governor's Office on Tribal Relations, BroadbandUSA and local experts. Learn about broadband terms, networks, and speed, and hear from others in your community about how broadband is transforming education, healthcare, agriculture and our economy. Then roll up your sleeves and complete exercises to help you identify the priorities that impact broadband in your community. WATCH
Creating Broadband Action Teams and Building Local Partnerships: Arizona has worked collaboratively with public and private partners to coordinate broadband planning across the state. In this session, learn how to create a roadmap for your community’s broadband projects as you build a framework for community priorities, stakeholder engagement, asset inventories and more. WATCH
Using Data As A Foundation For Your Broadband Plan: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Wednesday, May 5 on Zoom. Open public data is readily available to jumpstart your broadband planning efforts. The key is understanding how to use the data effectively to tell your community story. Experts from BroadbandUSA will review the three main broadband data sets and demonstrate tools that you’ll be able to use to access the data for planning, business cases, partnership development, and grant applications. Online soon
Local First Arizona Arizona Economic Recovery Center - Grants Info Local First Economic Recovery Center The Arizona Economic Recovery Center aims to enable more qualified Arizona cities, towns, counties, and nonprofits to win competitive federal, state, and foundation grants. Qualifying communities:
$7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund - What is it? See Benton Institute For Broadband For Society Emergency Connectivity Fund Overview Here To help schools and libraries provide devices and Internet connectivity to students, school staff, and library patrons during the pandemic, Congress established a $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund as part of the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Federal Communications Commission is now defining the rules to distribute the new funds to eligible schools and libraries for the purchase of eligible equipment and advanced telecommunications and information services for use by students, school staff, and library patrons at locations other than a school or library—primarily to homes.
Is this an E-Rate program? No, it isn’t the same as E-Rate. The fund is going to be administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) - the same entity that administers the E-Rate program for schools and libraries. While there are some commonalities between the two programs it is important to remember that the Emergency Connectivity Fund is not E-Rate and it will be its own program with its own rules, regulations and processes.
What are the rules? The rules, regulations and processes are not fully defined yet.
What will it fund? For eligible schools and libraries, this will provide funding (and reimbursement) for advanced telecommunications and information services and equipment including Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, devices that combine a modem and router, and connected devices. These funds can be used in competitive procurements or to reimburse eligible expenses dating back to January 27th, 2020. It is also worth noting that the funds from this program will remain available until September 30th, 2030.
USDA Seeks Applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is accepting applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program grants to help provide educational and medical services in rural areas. June 14 Deadline Read the full stakeholder announcement here.
Other Broadband and Telemedicine Grant Opportunities
Telemedicine Training Programs May 24, September 13 and March 15, July 19, November 8 2021 Submitted by Task Force member Janet Major Information and Registration The Arizona Telemedicine Training Program and the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center offers 1-day training courses on telemedicine and telehealth. There are two tracks offered throughout the year; 1) Developing a Telemedicine Program and 2) Telemedicine Applications. ATP's staff and colleagues, many of whom are national experts in telehealth, distance education and the business of telemedicine, teach both tracks. The Arizona Telemedicine Training Program is accredited by the American Telemedicine Association. Advanced Registration is required to attend ATP training courses.
TRACK 1: Developing a Telemedicine Program January 11, May 24, September 13 2021 - This conference gives a broad overview of a variety of telemedicine topics. This course is excellent for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding their services. It is also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this growing industry.
TRACK 2: Telemedicine Applications March 15, July 19, November 8 2021 - This conference covers advanced telemedicine topics through an in-depth look at real-world clinical applications of telemedicine and telehealth. This course is excellent for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding their services. It is also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of this growing industry.
CDFA Rural Development Finance Webinar Series: March 23, June 1, August 31 | Webinar Series The Council of Development Finance Agencies offers a series on financing options to preserve rural communities, investments in health care, broadband, manufacturing, food systems and education.