Training Opportunities

BRTA provides training opportunities to their member organizations through TelehealthVillage and STAR Telehealth. For more information, click on the logos below.

TelehealthVillage is a collaboration between the University of Virginia (UVA) Karen S. Rheuban Center for Telehealth, the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center and the University of Virginia (UVA) Office of Continuing Medical Education. The vision of TelehealthVillage is to become the trusted, go to learning resource for telehealth fundamentals, technology, practice, policy, business development, and innovation and specialty applications.

The Southside Telehealth Training Academy and Resource Center (STAR) is a premier training program for health care providers seeking to use advanced telemedicine and telehealth systems to improve access to quality healthcare for rural and medically-underserved populations. New College Institute’s STAR Telehealth program provides an opportunity for continuing education, career advancement, and professional development to equip tomorrow’s telehealth professionals to meet the rapidly growing demand for telehealth education.  Telehealth encompasses a variety of technologies to deliver and enhance virtual medical, health, and education services.

More about BRTA

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (BRTA) is a non-profit telehealth network based in Tappahannock, VA serving residents east of Richmond and Fredericksburg, VA in rural Eastern Virginia including the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, and Eastern Shore. BRTA’s vision is for telehealth to contribute to better health and well-being for populations in medically underserved communities served by BRTA Members.

We aim to serve communities by developing telehealth projects that improve access to health services; engage patients as partners; reduce professional isolation among health service providers; and provide access to training and development of the health care workforce.  Over its 17-year history, BRTA has been successful in expanding access to medical care for rural populations via telehealth technologies-from remote, live interactive videoconferencing consults by urban-based specialists to reach rural patients and provider facilities.

BRTA has been awarded repeated grant funding by the US Health Resources and Services Administration Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, as a part of the Telehealth Network Grant Program(TNGP) which provides geriatric behavioral telehealth services throughout a rural network of healthcare sites and long-term care facilities in Southeastern Virginia through 2016. Another grant was awarded in September 2016, for a five-year school-based initiative to introduce telehealth into three rural school systems.

In April, 2015 and 2018 the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded BRTA a 3 year grant to implement Remote Home Monitoring and Chronic Disease Self-Management in partnership with the award winning Eastern Virginia Care Transitions Partnership, recognized by the Virginia Center for Health Innovation and the U.S. Center for Medicare Services which provides post-discharge coaching to reduce hospital readmissions. In 2018 and 2020, BRTA received grants to coordinate Regional Opioid Response using Telehealth-Enabled Innovations.

In 2018, HRSA named BRTA a Rural Health Community Champion for our work on Evidence-Based, Promising Practices Model, which is listed in the Rural Health Information Hub for Chronic Disease Management and the COPD Tool-Kit. In 2020, BRTA received a grant to establish the Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium, and pilot telehealth-enabled Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder with the Eastern Shore Regional Jail, and healthcare providers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance is a membership organization including Riverside Health System, Virginia Commonwealth University, Bay Aging, Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck Community Services Board, Rappahannock Community College, Bay Workforce Investment Board, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Eastern Shore Community Services Board, Eastern Shore Rural Health Services, Central Virginia Health Services, Virginia Department of Health (Three Rivers and Eastern Shore Districts) and the Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic.

Rural Health Voice Podcast

How can technology improve healthcare access?  Donna Dittman Hale, Executive Director of Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance, joined The Rural Health Voice to discuss plugging into telehealth.

Ms. Hale was one of the speakers at the 2020 Rural Health Voice conference.  To view the video presentation that led to this interview, visit the Rural Health Voice conference and register for the event.  You can choose to just watch just one, or all five of our excellent speakers.

New Consortium Funded

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance wins $900,000 in Federal funds to establish Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium

Telehealth Network to Bring Additional Telehealth Services to Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Tappahannock, Virginia: Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (BRTA) has been awarded federal grant funds of $900,000 over 3 years for its development of the Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium (ESTC).  This grant establishes a sustainable consortium designed to build a telehealth delivery system infrastructure to promote increased resources, innovation, and coordination of health services on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 

The initial project for ESTC is to help coordinate services for individuals living on the Eastern Shore, with mental health and substance use disorders(SUD) and/or opioid use disorder(OUD) by linking treatment resources through telehealth.  Over the next three years, ESTC will work with community partners to increase the use of evidenced-based and culturally appropriate OUD/SUD interventions through telehealth-enabled innovations. 

The federal funding comes from the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services Rural Health Network Development Program which exists to increase access to healthcare in rural areas through the expansion of telehealth technology. 

BRTA and ESTC will partner with Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital, Eastern Shore Community Services Board, Eastern Shore Regional Jail, Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Virginia Department of Health to create the Consortium.  If any agency is interested in learning more about the Consortium and partnering opportunities, please contact Donna Dittman Hale.

BRTA’s executive director, Donna Dittman Hale, said “We are excited to support the organizations on Virginia’s Eastern Shore to enhance the system of care with technology, telecommunications and integrated systems of care.” BRTA hired Mary Ochsner to lead the ESTC. As former director of the Senior Perspectives program at RSMH, she has proven ability to pull together community service providers to support the health of community residents.

The mission of the Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium is to increase access to healthcare for all people on the Eastern Shore by offering a telemedicine delivery model and supporting virtual health projects. The vision is for telehealth to contribute to  better health and well-being for all populations in Virginia’s Eastern Shore Communities.

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance is a mature telehealth network whose vision is for virtual health strategies to contribute to better health and well-being for populations in Virginia communities. BRTA will serve as a mentor and fiscal agent to foster the growth and success of the Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium.

Vision & Mission

Vision:  BRTA’s vision is for virtual health strategies to contribute to better health and well-being for populations in Virginia communities.

Mission:  BRTA’s mission is to help its Members serve communities by supporting virtual health projects that improve health and health care.

Value Model: BRTA will deliver value by helping our Members and partners serve their communities through: a) virtual health strategies that improve access to services, consumer experience, clinical impact, operational effectiveness, and financial viability; and b) health professions education and workforce development initiatives. 

Core Principles: BRTA’s core principles guide our strategic decisions about projects and partnerships. We value project opportunities that are:

Community-focused

Collaborative

Scalable, and

Sustainable.

Health-E Learners Program

Serving Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance has started a major undertaking to bring School-Based Telehealth Centers to the Northern Neck of Virginia.  This is done through an extensive partnership with Riverside Health System, Middle Peninsula Northern Neck Community Services Board, Virginia Department of Health Office of Health Equity, Northumberland County Public Schools, Westmoreland County Public Schools, Rappahannock Community College, the Center for Rural Health Innovation, and Community Health Solutions. 

Equipment Training

School Nurses from Westmoreland County Public Schools and Staff from Westmoreland Medical Clinic participated in hands-on training of the new equipment that will be used to provide acute care to students in the schools. 

Grants

Bridges to Cardiovascular Population Health

Bridges to Cardiovascular Population Health addresses the health-related challenges to overcome the geographic and economic barriers faced by patients in rural communities.

The goal of the project is to: expand the delivery of health care services in rural communities to improve population health and demonstrate health outcomes and sustainability, integrating remote patient monitoring, behavioral health and chronic disease self-management training in primary care physicians’ offices, in a rural area.

HRSA RHO Grant Number: D04RH31770

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program

Comprehensive Opioid Response Through Behavioral Health Networks grant is designed to use telemedicine to address the opioid crisis in rural Virginia.

The goal of the project is to: address the issue of opioid addiction by increasing the capacity of the behavioral health services system in the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and Eastern Shore regions of Virginia, extend the reach and technical capability of behavioral health providers so that assessments, consultations, and counseling are available in remote areas, provide professional development for providers as well as medical and human service professionals, replace obsolete video equipment in order to improve video capability at rural hospitals, continue the primary care and specialty care visits currently provided, incorporate the opioid assessment, education, and related activities of this new proposal.

USDA RUS Grant Number: VA 713-B58

School-Based Telehealth Initiative

School-Based Telehealth Initiative: BRTA works with the Northumberland, and Westmoreland County Public Schools to bring healthcare services directly into schools giving students in these rural areas greater access to healthcare. The school-based health services focus on improving access to care, plus behavioral health. HRSA TNGP Grant Number: H2ARH30289

Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium

The Eastern Shore Telehealth Consortium grant establishes a sustainable consortium designed to build a telehealth delivery system infrastructure to promote increased resources, innovation, and coordination of health services on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. 

The initial project for ESTC is to help coordinate services for individuals living on the Eastern Shore, with mental health and substance use disorders (SUD) and/or opioid use disorder (OUD) by linking treatment resources through telehealth. This consortium is designed to build a telehealth delivery system infrastructure to promote increased resources, innovation, and coordination of health services on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

HRSA RHND Grant # D06RH37494

Community Bridges Collaborative

The focus of the Community Bridges Collaborative is to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) by expanding the capabilities of the behavioral health services infrastructure, instituting and enhancing evidence-based and evidence-informed practices, and providing workforce development opportunities and telehealth-enabled innovations to increase access to services in our service area.

HRSA RCORP Grant Number: GA1RH39537