On Wednesday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its final set of COVID-19 Telehealth Program award recipients, which included CHI St. Alexius Health in Dickinson. The hospital becomes the first healthcare provider that has been approved for funding in the state of North Dakota through the program with funds provided by Congress through the CARES Act.

According to the FCC, the approved funds of $124,000 will be invested by the hospital into acquiring telemedicine carts, tablets, remote monitoring devices, and a remote monitoring platform to allow health care teams to remotely monitor, assess, create plans of care and treat COVID-19 patients while minimizing healthcare provider exposure.

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau approved the 25 funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program for healthcare providers in both urban and rural areas across the country, and have dedicated $10.73 million in funding to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic.

CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson has been proudly serving southwestern North Dakota since 1912, and continues to expand their services and update technology to better serve the community with the goals of providing residents with quality, compassionate care.

In a statement to The Press, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai addressed the importance of the program and how funds issued through the Cares Act will support healthcare providers across the nation to deal with the increased complications brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In late March, Congress tasked the FCC with developing from scratch a new $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program to help combat COVID-19, support health care providers, and make it easier for Americans to safely access vital healthcare services,” Pai said. “And just over three months later, the Commission has approved 539 applications, allocating the full $200 million for worthy projects across the country. Credit for this tremendous accomplishment is due to Commission staff who went the extra mile to set up the program quickly and process funding requests promptly but thoroughly. I thank them for all they’ve done to make this program a success.”

Addressing the positive impacts being made through the program, Pai said that he hopes to see how funds issued to CHI will impact the Western Edge.

“This final tranche of approved funding applications includes recipients in both urban and rural areas of the country, and from coast to coast. We have already seen the program’s positive impact on expanding access to telehealth services and promoting the well-being of patients and healthcare providers across the country,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how those who are awarded funding today will help patients from New York to Guam, and Alabama to North Dakota.”

Attempts to reach CHI for comment were unsuccessful at the time of publication.