Health IT Innovation


OVP Health receives USDA grant to enhance telehealth services

HUNTINGTON — OVP Health, based in Huntington, has received a grant of $429,841 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enhance telehealth services at its operations in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, the company announced in a news release.

As a condition of the grant and as part of OVP Health’s mission to build healthier communities, OVP Health will also contribute a 15% match of $64,500, bringing the total investment in telehealth services enhancement in the region to $494,341, the company said.

The grant will enable OVP Health to develop telehealth rooms at its facilities, which will feature state-of-the-art equipment such as large, interactive touch screen monitors, computers, audio/visual equipment and printers to allow health care providers and patients to communicate effectively over a secured connection. The goal of the project is to improve access to care for all people, particularly those living in remote or rural areas that do not have easy access to equipment or a broadband connection.

“OVP Health is very excited to be awarded this grant,” Paul E. Cowsar, OVP Health chief operations officer, said in the release. “We have been providing telehealth services for several years, and have seen a substantial increase in its use during the pandemic. This grant will greatly improve access to quality patient care, including medical care, medication-assisted treatment, and counseling services.”

“Currently, patients with access to broadband internet service from home or a community location can access care from our providers remotely, but those without access to broadband service often do without care,” Stacey Shy, OVP Health chief executive officer, said in the release. “Our dedicated telehealth rooms will help extend quality care to every community and every individual who needs it.”

“The focus of this grant aligns perfectly with our company’s core values of Family, Community, Quality and Integrity,” Dr. Robert A. Hess, OVP Health president and co-founder, said in the release. “We believe access to quality health care is a basic, human right; and that it’s essential for building healthy families and healthy communities. And at OVP Health, we view it as our responsibility to do everything in our power to enhance and extend that access to everyone.”

OVP Health, managed by Lineage Health Solutions LLC, provides emergency department and hospitalist services for local and regional hospitals, operates primary care and after-hours facilities; and offers accredited outpatient and inpatient medication-assisted treatment and counseling services for people suffering from addiction in a growing number of communities across West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia.

RCBI challenge to recognize best in agricultural innovation

HUNTINGTON — Agricultural innovators across West Virginia will compete for a business assistance package valued in excess of $5,000 as part of a contest sponsored by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University.

The Sixth Annual West Virginia Vanguard Agriculture Competition will honor innovation and ingenuity in agriculture, recognizing an entrepreneur whose idea has the greatest potential to solve logistical challenges in the local food supply chain and bring a new product to market.

The winner will receive assistance with product design and development including prototyping, marketing and business development planning, according to a press release from RCBI.

West Virginia residents and out-of-state students enrolled in West Virginia colleges and universities are eligible to compete. Innovators must apply online at Entries must be received by 4 p.m., April 16. The winner will be announced in late April, the release said.

The contest is part of RCBI’s Agricultural Innovations, an initiative to improve opportunities for West Virginia’s farming and agricultural economy.

RCBI says the initiative supports and enhances a vibrant local foods system by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. RCBI also helps food producers, distributors and buyers expand their reach and influence through advanced manufacturing practices and product development.

The Agricultural Innovations initiative is funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and supported by a coalition of partners across West Virginia.

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