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St. Luke's Enhances Rural Health Care for Patients; Supported by Verizon Grant

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Dr. Gary Peterson, St. Luke's vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer; Stephanie Keppers-Anderson, St. Luke's Home Care manager; Nathan Peterson, account executive, Verizon Wireless; Catherine Carter-Huber, executive director, St. Luke's Foundation; Yvonne Prettner Solon, Minnesota lieutenant governor; and John Strange, St. Luke's president and chief executive officer.St. Luke's is working to improve rural health care for its patients with new telemonitoring equipment, which is supported by the Verizon Foundation. St. Luke's Home Care was recently enhanced with wireless telemonitors and blood pressure cuffs allowing its home care nurses to track patient vital signs on a daily basis while the patient is at home. The funding by Verizon also helped train St. Luke's Home Care nurses on the new software so they can access the software from any location and enter patient information.

"Through this partnership with Verizon, St. Luke's Home Care continues to expand its telemonitoring program to reach out to patients in its rural communities with excellent care who might not otherwise have access," said Dr. Gary Peterson, St. Luke's vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer.

"By 2020, Minnesota will have more residents 65 years and older than it has schoolchildren – a first in state history. Technologies such as telemonitoring are critical to helping our seniors stay in their homes and avoid arduous trips to the hospital," said Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon said. "I am proud to congratulate St. Luke's and Verizon on this innovative partnership to improve care for our Minnesota seniors."

Seamus Hyland, president, Great Plains Region, Verizon Wireless, said, "Technology has enabled St. Luke's to extend the reach of the excellent care they provide throughout rural areas of Minnesota. Our support of St. Luke's and helping to expand its telemonitoring program is allowing home care patients to track their vital signs and health while improving communications between these patients with their nurses and physicians."