Charter and Oregon Health Network, An OCHIN, Inc. Organization Create First National Model Advancing Healthcare and Creating Job Opportunities in Rural California and Oregon Communities
Completion of new fiber optic loop provides network redundancy and enhances telemedicine capabilities at Sutter Coast Hospital
CRESCENT CITY, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Oregon Health Network, an OCHIN, Inc. Organization, today announced completion of a broadband fiber optic network—made possible by the Federal Communications Commission Rural Health Care Pilot Program—that brings advanced capabilities for video telemedicine, broadband Internet speeds and high definition television to customers in southern Oregon and Crescent City, Calif.
The completed fiber optic network is the final segment of an 87-mile route from Grants Pass, Ore. to Crescent City, Calif. consisting of a 720GB circuit with capacity to service thousands of people across multiple cities. It brings high-speed Internet, phone and high definition (HD) television service to numerous households and businesses, makes advanced telemedicine possible and creates opportunities for businesses such as call centers with heavy data applications. It also completes a redundant, fiber optic loop connecting southern Oregon and northern California, establishing a more reliable connection.
"The Sutter Coast project is an example of how bringing broadband Internet, phone and HD TV service to rural communities provides a way for businesses to expand and add jobs," said Frank Antonovich, vice president and general manager for Charter in Oregon.
The $1.6 million investment included contributions from Charter, the Oregon Department of Education High Desert Education Service District and the Rural Health Care Pilot Program of the Federal Communication Commission through the Oregon Health Network. This innovative project is the first national model since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is a successful combination of public and private investment.
"This collaborative effort to extend advanced technology to communities we serve is part of our mission," said Abigail Sears, chief executive officer for OCHIN. "Our vision is to extend quality healthcare to every individual and to make a meaningful contribution in improving and saving lives. We're proud of our relationship with Charter and their team for helping us make it a reality."
According to David Itzen, county commissioner with Curry County in Oregon, "Access to high-tech telecommunications facilities will jumpstart economic development. It's thrilling to see this take place."
A new, 1GB circuit connects directly to Sutter Coast hospital with the capability to transmit a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) X-ray in less than one second or a pathological study—cardiologists working on an active X-ray table—in about eight seconds.
"This speedy network connection ensures we stay current with the latest technologies for our patients, and provides a way for us to advance the critical healthcare services we already provide to this community," said Linda Horn, interim chief executive officer for Sutter Coast Hospital.
Charter (NASDAQ: CHTR) is a leading broadband communications company and the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including advanced Charter TV® video entertainment programming, Charter Internet® access, and Charter Phone®. Charter Business® similarly provides scalable, tailored, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business Internet access, data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services, and wireless backhaul. Charter's advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media® brand. More information about Charter can be found at charter.com.
About Charter Business
Charter Business, a division of Charter Communications, Inc, provides business organizations with scalable, tailored, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions, including business-to-business Internet access, data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services and wireless backhaul. Catering to the unique broadband needs of business customers, Charter Business offers competitively priced bundled products over its state-of-the-art, fiber-based network, helping businesses in a variety of industries maximize efficiency while continuing to grow. Charter Business is Metro Ethernet Forum Certified. More information about Charter Business can be found at www.charter-business.com
About Oregon Health Network
Oregon Health Network (OHN), an OCHIN Organization, is a member-based, nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality, access, and delivery of healthcare to all Oregonians via a variety of services to its 229 member facilities: enhanced broadband connectivity, health IT best practices, hosted services, and advocacy. A nationally top-performing Federal Communications Commission Rural Health Care Pilot Program, (RHCPP), OHN was founded in 2007. OHN's scalable and statewide broadband infrastructure supports the coordination of care among Oregon's physicians, allied providers, clinics, health organizations, educators, students, and government agencies. For more information, visit www.oregonhealthnet.org.
About Sutter Coast Hospital
The Sutter Health Story is We Plus You!
Sutter Health is a pretty big family! Actually, more than 50,000 of us-doctors, employees and volunteers-comprise our network of care. Together, we share a partnership promise to create a more personalized, high-value health care experience for you and your family. It's called We Plus You. Take a look at how we're partnering with you, communities and each other to make a positive difference in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns. Sutter Coast Hospital and clinics represent the northernmost footprint of Sutter Health. With a Hospital and clinics serving Del Norte County, California and Curry County, Oregon, they are the perfect partners for this project. For more information, please visit www.suttercoast.org.
About OCHIN, Inc.
Established in 2000 through a partnership with CareOregon, the Oregon Primary Care Association, Multnomah County Health Department, Clackamas County Health Department, and Virginia Garcia Health Clinics, OCHIN became an independent nonprofit in 2002. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, OCHIN is one of the nation's largest Health Information Networks and is recognized for its innovative use of Health IT to improve the integration and delivery of health care services across a wide variety of practices. With an historical emphasis on safety net clinics and small practices, OCHIN has expanded to include private practice providers and specialists. To date, OCHIN operates in 17 states and supports 75 health center networks and over 4,500 medical providers who serve over 2.5 million patients. For more information, visit www.ochin.org.
Jack Hardy, Sr. Manager, Communications
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Ruby Haughton-Pitts, Vice President, External Affairs
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SUTTER COAST HOSPITAL
Beth A. Liles, Executive Director, Communications
Office: 707.464.8688 Cell: 813.376.0579