Telemedicine middle set to debut by March, officers say | information

When someone reaches out to the TeleHealth Suite’s Johnstown office for virtual office visits or a quick question about their health concerns, local nurses and other health professionals are on the other end of their screen or phone to help.

By the end of March, the Pittsburgh-based company expects to have at least 20 employees – including nurses, licensed practical nurses, and medical assistants – in the call center who will conduct routine and remote consultations and answer patient questions and calls for help. According to Apryle Horbal, President of TeleHealth and a graduate of Richland High School.

“Our goal is to provide high quality telemedicine support to keep people healthy and reduce the need for emergency rooms and hospital stays,” said Horbal. “But we also come here to offer people in this field good, high-quality jobs – and we are very happy about that.”

Employment at the site is expected to grow to 100 by the end of the first year of operation, she said.

While one of the company’s primary goals will be to help people with opioid addictions, the TeleHealth Suite also expects to help people in other target areas such as heart failure and diabetes, Horbal said.

Virtual care enables patients to remain “proactive” about their health – whether it be a relapse, a glucose-free diet, or attending a virtual counseling session on a difficult day – before taking any path that could lead them to the emergency room “, she said.

“Self-sufficient industry”

Staff would work with TeleHealth’s doctors and complement support while aligning with a patient’s current primary care provider or other specialist, she said.

And as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing more and more people to turn to telemedicine for care, Horbal believes the time is right for their fully virtual offering.

“Ultimately, we want this to be a self-sustaining industry in Johnstown,” she said. “We see telemedicine as a factory or steel mill of the next generation to create jobs.”

TeleHealth is based in Southpointe Business Park near Pittsburgh and employs 24 people there, Horbal said.

Horbal has spent most of her career as a veterinary specialist and the company also has an online veterinary department with an office in Canada.

She said the company had been taking steps to expand its services on the medical side for nearly two years – and behind the scenes efforts had been made to set up a business in Johnstown.

Remodeling and setting

She recognized the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority and Somerset-based Aspire Grant & Development Partners for work on the project and state and state lawmakers in the region.

Last week, state officials announced the company had received $ 1.4 million to bring the site up and running – a move that has tremendous potential, Senator Wayne Lagerholc Jr., R-Richland Ward, told The Tribune -Democrat last week.

“The ongoing battle against opioids linked to COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated the need for training and resources for our healthcare workers and the community,” he said.

The TeleHeath Suite and the attention it will bring to the value of remote health care “will be a tremendous asset to our region,” said Langerholc.

Horbal says work is already under way to prepare part of the former Cambria Rose building for use, including changing rooms to take into account social distancing and improving internet networking capabilities to make the space more tech-friendly.

She said recruiting efforts will begin across the region in the coming weeks.

Work in other areas of the building will continue after staff are hired to expand employment, she said.

“There will be a lot of work during our first 5 to 8 months of operation,” she said. “But we are very happy that this is coming to fruition.”

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