U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) last Tuesday announced that a total of $2,689,733 in grants have been awarded to Klickitat Valley Health (KVH), Seattle Children’s Hospital, and Summit Pacific Medical Center to expand access to telehealth services for patients in underserved communities throughout Goldendale, Seattle, and southwest Washington.

KVH (Goldendale)

Klickitat Valley Health was awarded $711,739 for the purchase of tablets, webcams, and remote monitoring kits to enhance its telemedicine offerings as the only health care provider in a sparsely populated area.

Seattle Children’s Hospital (Seattle)

Seattle Children’s Hospital was awarded $1,000,000 for the purchase of telehealth software and equipment to minimize exposure to COVID-19 via telehealth and use virtual care to maintain the care of less acutely ill children in their own communities.

Summit Pacific Medical Center (Elma)

Summit Pacific Medical Center was awarded $977,994 for the purchase of tablets, laptops, and remote monitoring kits, including Bluetooth-enabled oximeters and blood pressure monitors, to deploy mobile and stationary

kiosks in community centers, community halls, and schools throughout its rural service area to increase equitable access for its low-income patient population.

The grants were awarded through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The program was first established in the 2020 CARES Act. Additional funds were appropriated by Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

Since the pandemic began, Cantwell has announced more than $7.8 million in funding for telehealth services to health care entities throughout Washington state. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in May 2020 on the state of broadband infrastructure in America, Cantwell emphasized the importance of telehealth healthcare services throughout the COVID-19 crisis.