Shriners Hospitals for Children Chooses Covenant HealthCare For Launch of Telehealth Location in Saginaw;First in Michigan

Giving local families increased access to their specialists and reduced transportation costs

Officials with Shriners Hospitals for Children in both Chicago and Cincinnati have announced a new collaboration with Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, Michigan to provide children and local families with increased access to their specialists at the two pediatric specialty care hospitals.

Shriners Hospitals for Children and Covenant HealthCare have opened a new telehealth location in Saginaw providing an opportunity for patients in the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond to receive consultations from physicians and caregivers at both the Chicago and Cincinnati Shriners Hospitals, via new state-of-the-art telehealth equipment. The equipment is located at a Covenant HealthCare site allowing the caregivers and physicians of Shriners Hospitals to see patients and families in Michigan. Shriners Hospitals for Children are known for their care in orthopaedics, cleft lip and palate, spinal cord injury rehabilitation and in burns and soft tissue conditions and the Covenant HealthCare location allows interaction via high-speed internet and HD cameras. In addition, medical information is transmitted electronically via digital stethoscopes, otoscopes, dermoscopes, and general exam hand-held cameras providing great detail for physicians at the Shriners Hospitals.

“Shriners Hospitals for Children are committed to serving patients and families with more convenient and flexible care,” said Mark Niederpruem, administrator at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago. “Our hospitals have been providing telehealth services throughout the country for nearly a decade; however, this launch marks an advance in technology and the hospital’s agility in the continually changing delivery models for health care. It also launches the first telehealth clinic for the Chicago Shriners Hospital.”

As officials at Shriners Hospitals began digging into this project, they felt Covenant Healthcare was the right organization to partner with based on the organization's established telemedicine service through Covenant VirtualCare and its vast array of regional obstetric and pediatric services.  As the region's leader in pediatric care, Covenant HealthCare provides quality medical services to children in Michigan's northern lower peninsula and beyond.

The partnership with Covenant HealthCare helps local Elf Khurafeh Shriners connect local families with the highly specialized care they need, while helping them save money on transportation costs to the Chicago and Cincinnati hospitals. These local Shriners raise funds year-round to provide transportation – via their own purchased vehicles with volunteer drivers – to families who would otherwise not be able to afford the trip. It is a cornerstone of the local Shriners’ purpose to connect children in their area who need the specialized, wrap-around care of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“The opportunity to help even more children access care they need in a way that is convenient for families and help the local Shriners use their dollars effectively was something we wanted to support,” says Jaime Magness, Program Administrator for Covenant VirtualCare. “Covenant HealthCare is committed to providing Extraordinary Care for Every Generation and this is just another way to do so. It is such an honor to be able to serve the children and families of our community. The smiles and satisfaction expressed by our patients lets us know that we are making a difference.”

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

The primary mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children is to help children who need specialized medical care — wherever they may live. Although our locations are primarily in North America, our compassionate health care system has treated children from more than 150 countries, and conducts more than 100 medical outreach clinics outside of the U.S. every year. Our highly-skilled medical teams treat children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other complex health care needs. To learn more, please visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org

The new telehealth technology for Shriners Hospitals for Children:

· Provides physicians with an easy-to-use telehealth solution to deliver care more conveniently and efficiently.

· Improves Shriners Hospitals’ ability to collaborate with local physicians to make informed patient care decisions and coordinate care.

· Enables Shriners Hospitals to forge new partnerships with local physicians.

· Improves quality of life for the patient and families.

· Enables opportunities to extend care in rural areas, at outreach clinics and at other international locations.

About Covenant HealthCare

From moms-to-be to babies to great-grandfathers, Covenant HealthCare delivers extraordinary care across generations and across specialties in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region. Patients can trust Covenant HealthCare with the health needs of the entire family. With 4800 employees and a medical staff of more than 500 physicians, the Saginaw-based health system offers a broad spectrum of programs and services including high-risk obstetrics, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, acute care, a Level II Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center, cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, robotic surgery, virtual care and more. For more information, visit www.covenanthealthcare.com. For more information on services Covenant provides for kids, visit www.CovenantKidsMI.com.

For more information, please contact:

Tammy M. Robbins

Senior Director of Public Relations – Central Region

Shriners Hospitals for Children

trobbins@shrinenet.org

314-341-3726