UC Davis Health recently received a Telehealth Equity Catalyst (TEC) Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for its efforts to advance health care equity and telehealth.
Through the TEC Award, the AAMC aims to recognize and highlight the efforts of AAMC-member institutions that are advancing health care equity through telehealth and health technology in new and effective ways, while tackling barriers to care via telehealth that impact health and health care equity.
This year’s TEC Award was presented to Jennifer Rosenthal, associate professor of pediatrics, and collaborators Kristin Hoffman, associate professor of neonatology, and Daniel Stein, Epic telehealth supervisor at UC Davis Health. They were recognized for the innovation of UC Davis Health’s NICU Virtual Family-Centered Rounds (FCR) program and the integration of video translation services into the telehealth platform known as Extended Care.
The Virtual FCR program engages families in multidisciplinary bedside rounds for hospitalized patients, giving parents and caregivers a chance to be virtually present at their baby’s bedside through a telehealth platform. The program was implemented in March 2020 as a pilot trial. This program, along with all UC Davis Health Extended Care telehealth programs, was subsequently enhanced to allow providers to “invite interpreters” within the telehealth platform. By integrating translation services, UC Davis Health telehealth programs facilitate participation among patients and families with limited/emergent English proficiency, promoting more equitable use of telehealth services among diverse language groups.
“It’s an honor to receive this award from the AAMC,” said Rosenthal. “I feel very fortunate to work with such committed and collaborative team members who continuously strive to optimize the use of telehealth to promote health care equity.”
This award includes $15,000 of funding intended to assist with sustaining and/or scaling the program. The funding will be used to purchase equipment and cellular data for families who need them to participate in Virtual FCR, establish a NICU Virtual FCR parent advisory board, conduct interviews with parents with limited/emergent English proficiency to understand their perceptions and use their feedback to improve the program, and to translate educational materials about Virtual FCR into additional languages.