ONAMIA -- The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic soon will give patients the opportunity to be examined by medical specialists via television.
Known as tele-medicine clinics, this service will allow patients to see specialists without having to travel long distances.
The Mille Lacs Band has partnered with Fairview Health Services, a regional health-care provider affiliated with the University of Minnesota, to provide specialists for the tele-medicine clinics. Clinics for dermatology and wound care that may be related to diabetes are already planned, and cardiac and orthopedic clinics likely will be offered in the future. These clinics will be offered based on demand, which is estimated at one clinic per month.
"The tele-medicine clinics promote the idea of continuing care," said nurse educator Susan Mohs. "Allowing our patients to see specialists right here at Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic is convenient for them and exciting for us. Tele-medicine helps us centralize a lot of expertise in one place."
Mohs and Donna Thomas are the nurses who will be in the room with patients during their tele-medicine appointments. They will operate the television, as well as the camera that helps the specialist examine the patient. They also will send any reports or X-rays to the specialist through a document reader and provide other assistance as needed.
"The tele-medicine clinics will provide a much-needed service to band members and the community," said Samuel Moose, commissioner of Health and Human Services for the Mille Lacs Band. "Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic is the first tribal health facility in Minnesota to partner with Fairview Health Services on this project, and we are very proud of that."
To participate in one of the tele-medicine clinics, a patient needs a referral from a doctor at Ne-Ia-Shing or another clinic for one of the specialties offered. For information about the topics and dates of the tele-medicine clinics, call Susan Mohs at the Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic at (320) 532-4163.
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