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Federal Joint Working Group on Telemedicine, December 2002

Mr. Charles Doarn was invited by the Director of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth to brief the Federal Joint Working Group on Telemedicine on MITAC's activities. Mr. Doarn provided a overview of the many challenges of providing telemedicine support in extreme and austere environments with a focus on MITAC.

VCUHS Telemedicine Center Open House, November 2002

On November 19, 2002, the VCUHS Telemedicine Center located in the Gateway Building on the campus of the Medical College of Virginia held an open house. This open house provided the VCUHS and surrounding community an opportunity to visit with staff and see first hand the capabilities of the Telemedicine Center. The open house was co-sponsored by the VCUHS, the Department of Surgery, and the MITAC. There was a steady stream of visitors to the center. Mrs. Justis demonstrated the capabilities of the center.

MITAC Renewed through 2007

MITAC is a NASA Commerical Space Center under a cooperative agreement between NASA and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). A new cooperative agreement became effective November 1, 2002. This cooperative agreement is funded annually and will be in place through 2007.

MITAC's Doarn elected to ATA

MITAC executive director, Charles Doarn was elected as the Secretary of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The Secretary serves on the executive board of the ATA as a senior leader in telemedicine for the organization.

American Telemedicine Association 2002 - MITAC Participation, June 2002

The 7th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) held June 1-5, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA, was well attended by representatives of MITAC. Representatives included Mr. Charles Doarn, Dr. Azhar Rafiq, Mr. Brett Harnett and Ms. Kim Evans. MITAC's participation included a complimentary exhibit with the NASA exhibit. The MITAC exhibit provided an opportunity for participants to gain an appreciation for MITAC activities. During the conference, MITAC personnel made several presentations. These included the following: Doarn - "Telemedicine Applications in the Remote Ecuadorian Rainforest" and "Telemedicine Applications in Remote and Extreme Environments" and Harnett - "A Physiological Data Routing Hub for Wireless Sensors - The VitalPoll." Dr. Rafiq presented a poster entitled "Integration of Telemedicine Technology in Patient Safety: Is There an Opportunity." All presentations were well received. This meeting marked the end of Mr. Doarn's tenure as the ATA's Treasurer. However, he was elected to serve as the ATA Secretary for a term of one year.

Additionally, Mr. Doarn participated in several notable activities during the conference. These included a meeting of the Global Federation of Telemedicine Organizations (GFTO) - Mr. Doarn served as voluntary secretary recording minutes. On Saturday, June 1, the DoD's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) held a conference on international telemedicine activities. This meeting was focused on TATRC initiatives on telemedicine in South Africa. Mr. Doarn was invited to this meeting by TATRC, who is exploring the development of a partnership with MITAC on international issues. Mr. Doarn served as session chair. Mr. Doarn also represented Dr. Ronald Merrell at a meeting on the Operating Room of the Future. This meeting was chaired by Dr. Gerry Moses of TATRC. Mr. Doarn made several comments concerning MITAC's activities in robotic surgery, surgical issues in space flight and the MITAC's recent educational symposium entitled "Just in Time Training for Just in Time Care."

Mr. Doarn also will work with the ATA and others to establish a Special Interest Group (SIG) for the ATA in International Telemedicine.

Grant Workshop, February 2002

On February 20, 2002, MITAC held a short workshop with several key individuals who will be involved in preparing a MITAC grant proposal to a philanthropic organization. This grant will provide a foundation for partnership development with other academic centers as well as industry in the Commonwealth that will ultimately work with humanitarian foundations and ministries of health in the developing world for enhancing the delivery of health care through the integration of information systems and telecommunications. The workshop conducted by Mr. Charles Doarn, MITAC Executive Director, was attended by Dr. Ronald Merrell, Chairman of Surgery, Dr. Timothy Broderick, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Ms. Samantha Wheeler Marrs, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for VCU, Dr. Arnauld Nicogossian, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy at George Mason University (GMU), Dr. Stephen Ruth, Director of the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology at GMU, and Dr. Martin Atherton, School of Nursing and Health Policy at GMU.

Department of Surgery Grand Rounds Broadcast Live Via the Internet

On Thursday January 10, 2002, Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Campus and the Department of Surgery began a new era of clinical education with the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran's Administration Medical Center. Using existing Internet links, the Surgical Grand Rounds from George Ben Johnson auditorium were sent using Polycom video units and H.323 protocol to an auditorium at the VA. This allows the surgical staff at the VA to participate in live lectures including Q&A and while earning CME credit without leaving the facility. This has already increased attendance and efficiency since some staff is required to be "on call" and this format allows them to do both. By using the Internet as a communications topology, there are no additional telecommunications fees typically associated with traditional videoconferencing. Subsequent steps will integrate a multi-protocol bridge to add additional sites. The Department of Surgery is proud to be an innovator in these efforts and was coordinated by the MITAC in cooperation with VCU and the VA.

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