Enhancing Rural Population Health Care Access and Outcomes Through the Telehealth EcoSystem™ Model

Brenda Leath, Lucenia W. Dunn, Antwon Alsobrook, Madeline L Darden




The article highlights the Telehealth Ecosystem™ model, a holistic cross sector approach for socioeconomic revitalization, connectivity, interoperability and technology infrastructure development to address health equity for rural underserved communities. Two guiding frameworks, Community & Economic Development (CED) and Collective Impact, provided the foundation for the Telehealth Ecosystem™ model. Public and private organizational capacities are addressed by comprehensive healthcare and social service delivery through stakeholder engagement and collaborative decision-making processes. A focus is maintained on economic recovery and policy reforms that enhance population health outcomes for individuals and families who have economic challenges.


The Telehealth EcoSystem™ utilizes an Intranet mechanism that enables a range of technologies and electronic devices for health informatics and telemedicine initiatives. The relevance of the Intranet to the advancement of health informatics is highlighted. Best practices in digital connectivity, HIPPA requirements, EHRs, and eHealth applications, such as patient portals and mobile devices are emphasized. Collateral considerations include technology applications that expand public health services.


The ongoing collaboration between a social science research corporation, a regional community foundation and an open access telecommunications carrier is a pivotal element in the sequential development and implementation of the Telehealth EcoSystem™ model in the rural southeastern region community.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v10i2.9311

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org