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Rheuban, TATRC top the list of this year's ATA award winners

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, ATA 2012 Show Dailies

SAN JOSE, CA – Last year, Karen S. Rheuban, MD, shared her story of helping to save the life of a young orphan in China, using telemedicine to identify a potentially fatal heart condition. This year she'll be up on the stage again – this time to accept the American Telemedicine Association's President's Award.

Rheuban, a former ATA president who's now a professor of pediatrics (pediatric cardiology), senior associate dean for continuing medical education and external affairs and medical director of the Office of Telemedicine at the University of Virginia, highlights an impressive list of people and organizations who will be honored at the 2012 ATA Annual Awards. The awards will be presented during Sunday's ATA 2012 Opening Plenary, scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m. in the San Jose Civic Auditorium, across the street from the McEnery Convention Center.

Rheuban, who is helping to launch a telehealth resource center to serve the mid-Atlantic states, was recognized by the National Library of Medicine in its "Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians" and helped compel passage of telemedicine reimbursement legislation two years ago in Virginia. She is also a board member of the Center for Telemedicine Law, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Academy of Pediatrics and a volunteer consultant and trustee of the Swinfen Charitable Trust.

The ATA President's Award (Individual) is supported by Jay Sanders of The Global Telemedicine Group.

Sharing the spotlight with Rheuban on Sunday will be the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), winner of the President's Award for Institutions (supported by AMD Global Telemedicine). A longtime fixture on the ATA Exhibit Hall floor, TATRC was established in 1994 as an office of the headquarters of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) at Fort Detrick, Md. With a medical research and development portfolio of more than $1.2 billion in funded medical research projects in 2012, TATRC is at the leading edge of federal telemedicine efforts, supporting innovative projects in the field that might eventually have civilian uses as well.

Another federal project will receive the ATA President's Award for Innovation, supported by InTouch Health. Developed by the Veterans Administration's National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense's National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), the PTSD Coach Mobile Application is a free mobile phone app designed to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder to manage their conditions. The app, which has been downloaded 45,000 times in 58 countries, has been positively reviewed by 88 percent of veterans who used it, according to officials.

The Industry Council Award, supported by AT&T, is being given to Don Jones, vice president of wireless health, global strategy and market development at Qualcomm Life, a subsidiary of the San Diego-based telecommunications company that unveiled the 2net home-based telehealth hub late last year. Jones launched the Wireless Life Sciences Alliance in 2005 and was a founding board member of the West Wireless Health Institute with Gary and Mary West and Eric Topol.

The SIG and Chapter Achievement Award, supported by the UnitedHealth Group, is being given to the ATA Pediatric Telehealth SIG, whose chairman is Neil Herendeen, MD, MS, medical director of Health-e-Access at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Pittsford, N.Y., and whose vice chairman is Julie Hall-Barrow, EdD, associate director of the ANGELS Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark. The 160+-member group, which partnered with the California Children's Services Pediatric ICU Technical Advisory Committee to include telemedicine in that group's standards, recently created a sub-group focused on school-based health and is hosting the 2012 Pediatric Telehealth Colloquium.

Rheuban will return to the stage at the end of the plenary as one of three newly elected ATA Telemedicine Fellows. Also elected to the ATA College of Fellows is Jerry Cavallerano, OD, PhD, staff optometrist at the Joslin Diabetes Center and associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School in Boston; and Scott Simmons, MS, director of telehealth for the University of Miami's TeleHealth program.

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