KVC Launches Innovative USDA-Funded Telemedicine Project to Support Kids in Foster Care

Project Links Foster Families to Healthcare and Training Using Video Technology

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KVC leaders embrace technology. Back row L-R: Regina Klyachkin (VP of Operations, KVC Kentucky), Brent Lemon (President, KVC West Virginia), Erin Keltner (VP of Operations, KVC West Virginia); Front:

“...For a child who has experienced abuse or neglect, an iPad means a direct link to a highly-trained, caring therapist who stands ready to listen and help,” said B. Wayne Sims, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems, Inc.

Lexington, KY (PRWEB) February 26, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it will invest in a KVC Kentucky project that uses rural telecommunications equipment to help expand access to education and improve health care. The project will provide iPads to hundreds of children in foster care in order to give them a direct link to behavioral healthcare services and ongoing education via video.

KVC Kentucky is a nonprofit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization headquartered in Lexington that provides foster care and in-home family therapy services. In order to receive the grant, KVC had to demonstrate that it serves rural America, prove there is economic need, and commit to providing at least 15 percent in matching funds.

The $330,696 grant, given through USDA Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine program, will be used to develop a video conferencing platform and purchase 400 iPads. KVC has more than 500 professional services staff that provide behavioral health therapy to children in foster care and their families. The development of a video conferencing platform will enable KVC to extend continuing education and required supervision for staff in rural, high-need areas. The iPads that will be purchased through the grant will be placed in the homes of children in foster care in West Virginia and Kentucky. The iPads will enable these children to have immediate assistance of KVC staff when they need it the most. There are plans to expand the availability of iPads to other KVC subsidiaries in Kansas and Nebraska after a successful initial implementation.

“This USDA-funded project will bring life-changing support to children and teens in foster care in a rural, underserved region,” said B. Wayne Sims, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems, Inc. “For the average adult, an iPad is a fun tool for taking photos and surfing the web. But for a child who has experienced abuse or neglect, an iPad means a direct link to a highly-trained, caring therapist who stands ready to listen and help. The technology will also provide foster parents with new training on how to handle family challenges. KVC Health Systems is proud of its innovative approach to foster care, and we see this partnership with the USDA as an important part of raising the bar in child welfare.”

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About KVC Kentucky
KVC Kentucky, headquartered in Lexington, is a nonprofit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization that provides foster care, in-home therapy and other family-related services. KVC Kentucky is accredited by The Joint Commission and serves more than 3,500 children in eight regions of the state. The organization is a subsidiary of KVC Health Systems which serves over 25,000 children in five states and Washington, D.C. Due to KVC’s leadership in the use of evidence-based research to achieve better outcomes and advance child welfare, the Annie E. Casey Foundation recently endorsed KVC as a best-practice organization. Learn more at http://www.kvc.org.