The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 4, 2012

UH hospitals get grant to buy training cameras

Star Beacon

— University Hospitals Conneaut and Geneva medical centers are expanding health care education and training in Ashtabula County after receiving a $228,000 grant from the Appalachian Region Commission.

The grant will be used to purchase an Integrated camera system to simulcast surgical and non-surgical procedures to a variety of teaching environments.

The ARC awarded the grant to UH to help address the shortage of medical professionals in rural areas of Ohio, a UH spokesman said.

The project aims to reduce the local unemployment rate through the development of a formalized medical training curriculum with collaboration among UH Conneaut and Geneva medical centers and local educational institutions in order to attract, train and retain individuals interested in pursuing a career in medicine or allied health, the spokesman said.

“This new technology will allow for students in Ashtabula and surrounding communities to experience medicine in a new light,” says Robert G. David, president at both hospitals. “Our hope is that this innovative project will lead to the employment and retention of highly qualified medical professionals throughout the area.”

The camera system will provide remote visual access to surgical areas at both hospitals, including high definition viewing procedures in orthopedics, OB/GYN, urology and general surgery. The high-tech camera system also includes integrated video conference capabilities that will allow for live interaction between students and surgeons, David said.

UH will collaborate with Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ashtabula County Technical and Career Center and other local schools to offer an in-person or video conference clinical training site at both hospitals, David said.

The integrated technology will help support medical training initiatives at both hospitals, including the education of post-secondary students in health care fields and medical residents, he said.

“The new camera system will facilitate the teaching of many students in a very collaborative and innovative way that will enable us to enhance the quality of their education in the surgical environment,” says Amitabh Goel, general surgeon at UH Geneva Medical Center. “We will be able to address many students at one time, allowing for a shared experience and encouraging real time interaction.”

The camera system will be installed in early 2013 and will be located at UH Geneva Medical Center, with the capability to be transported to UH Conneaut Medical Center as needed.