Program helps seniors video-chat with doctors
Tristan Halsen photo
Members of Telehealth for Seniors bring boxes of devices to a representative of Community Health Centers of Snohomish County at its Administration Office in Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
EVERETT — Communicating with your health provider became difficult during the pandemic. With so many groups of people affected by this, a group of students set out to put doctors within reach using tablets and smartphones.
The students are doing this in the form of Telehealth Access for Seniors, which is a nonprofit organization that provides patients with smartphone devices so they are able to contact and meet with their doctors over video calls.
Three University of Washington students are making this happen by collecting devices, wiping them, and delivering them to clinics. In mid-September, Community Health Center of Snohomish County - Everett
received a batch of brand new tablets.
Nhu Nguyen is a senior at UW who started volunteering for the nonprofit in June 2020.
“As a public health student, I have learned about and become bothered by our country’s systemic health and social inequities. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, I had a strong urge to engage in relief efforts in some way,” Nguyen said.
Along with two friends who also attend UW, Kathy Cui and Sophia Cuschieri, the three have dedicated 20 hours each week to coordinate volunteer efforts as well as being a liaison between national- and state-level administrative efforts. They were even able to secure a full funded grant that allowed the purchase of 68 brand new tablets.
Telehealth Access for Seniors only has 20 members in Washington, however despite that they have managed to receive 262 donated devices, raise $13,000 and create partnerships with three community health centers.
The effort provides seniors with these donated devices, and includes instructional guides as well as a support line for any questions on how to use these devices. The guides cover how to set up the devices, access Wi-Fi hotspots, download and use telemedicine apps and more. These guides come in several languages and more continue to be added to help their users.
There are a multitude of ways to help their cause, including volunteering with Telehealth, or donating old and unused devices or monetarily donating to their GoFundMe. See www.telehealthforseniors.org on how to connect.
Calling all Snohomians
Who’s the oldest Snohomish Panther still around? Maybe it’s your relative? Maybe it’s you? The Tribune wants to find out. Tell us who you think it is: write to P.O. Box 499, Snohomish, WA 98291, email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 360-568-4121.
Watch for the Jan. 25 Tribune to
see some recognitions.
Check out our online publications!