It’s been months in discussions and deliberations but a few weeks ago, PRTC – a fabulous broadband/telecom cooperative in Kentucky, cut the ribbon and opened their doors to their Virtual Living Room project as a telemedicine center for local veterans right in their community library with the gig service provided by PRTC and a Smart Rural Community Grant from NTCA and our SRC partners.
I know that I have shared about this project before because:
1) I am so inspired by GM Keith Gabbard and his team for taking an idea that bubbled up during our White House Summit on telemedicine a few years ago and running and running and running with it. Regardless of the barriers they hit, Keith and his team kept forging forward. Creating relationships with KY VA when working with the national office hit a wall, working with the local library to get their support and canvassing the vets in the area to assess their needs.
2) PRTC offers a gig to their local library – in one of the lowest income communities in the country, in the heart of Appalachia. I’d like to see Google Fiber do something cool and community-minded like that in ANY of their narrowing markets.
3) This project did not take a great deal in terms of resources – the Smart Rural Community grant was just enough to create a comfortable and private space that the library was willing to donate.
I love working with folks who can see “the art of the possible”.
4) And last but not least, I love that this project was bringing together all of the best elements of Jackson County – a great communications company and team, government folks who were empowered to get something done and a local community that came to rally behind folks in their community who have served our country – and now don’t need to travel for hours to get some basic medical and mental health support.
Hats off PRTC for leading by example!