Oco News

Telehealth Access Portal opens at OCO Fulton Office

Telehealth Access Portal opens at OCO Fulton Office

NY StateWide Senior Action Council (StateWide) and Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) are teaming up to offer free, confidential internet access at OCO’s main office, on 239 Oneida St. in Fulton, for telehealth appointments as part of StateWide’s larger Community Telehealth Access Project (CTAP). “CTAP was launched through our Health Access Task Forces, in response to the lack of equitable internet infrastructure across Central New York, which has left rural residents out of the telehealth boom, despite needing it the most due to transportation barriers and fewer local healthcare specialists in their communities. We are thrilled to tackle this issue with our valued partner, OCO, and broaden the reach of the project using essential services like 2-1-1.” says Maria Alvarez, StateWide’s Executive Director.

Oswego County residents who have a telehealth visit with their doctor or therapy provider are now able to visit OCO’s main office to use their guest Wi-Fi and reserve a room that has an iPad. Participants should contact OCO’s office directly at 315-598-4717 ext. 1000, Monday through Friday between 9am and 4pm to reserve the room at least 48 hours in advance. The space may be reserved for an hour at a time, which includes 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment to allow time to arrive, prepare and log in. Individuals using the site agree to follow OCO’s current COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“OCO is dedicated to implementing positive change in our community. We are a vastly rural community and many individuals need but do not have access to reliable internet. We want to provide a space that is accessible and inviting for our community members to use. It is our hope that the community will feel welcome in the space and that this opportunity makes it easier for them to access reliable internet connection,” says Diane Cooper Currier, OCO’s Executive Director.

OCO is the first agency-telehealth access site in the county and joins the seven Oswego County public libraries partaking in this initiative. Some telehealth access sites are able to provide a private room and device for appointments, while others ensure their Wi-Fi extends to their parking lot and outdoor areas. Library representatives ask that you call ahead to confirm services. Sites are not meant for sick visits and participants must continue exercising COVID-19 safety-protocols and cleanliness.

Since the Community Telehealth Access Project began in March 2021, the list of telehealth access sites has expanded to 60. Visit StateWide’s page frequently to view our growing site list or contact  2-1-1 for information over the phone. If your organization is interested in becoming a telehealth access site contact StateWide’s Oswego County Coordinator Stefania Buta at stefania@nysenior.org.

The Community Telehealth Access Project is a program of New York StateWide Senior Action Council, with funding and support from the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York.

Pictured here, in the telehealth appointment room at OCO’s main office, are (seated from left)NY StateWide Senior Action Council’s CNY Task Force Coordinator Stefania Buta and OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier. Standing are OCO Deputy Executive Director Patrick Waite and OCO Coordinator of Community Health Leanna Cleveland.

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