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Monthly Archives

April 2023

FCC Affordable Connectivity Program Enrollment

By News

Written by:  Elizabeth Merritt

“On Wednesday, April 26th, PCC partnered with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Outreach staff to enroll eligible residents in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) at the Bamberg County Library.  

The ACP is an FCC program that helps families connect to internet service by providing a monthly benefit. The benefit provides up to $30 a month, discount for internet services, and income at or below the level depending on household size. 

 5 participants from our training classes signed up for the ACP and 1 new person reached out for help with her internet. Thank you to FCC staff members Lyle Ishida, Alma Hughes, and Renee Coles for all their help with the event, as well as PCC staff members Kathy Schwarting, Nicole Smoak, Ashlee Parra, Ramona Midkiff, and Marin Moody.  

We are grateful and proud of the impact that is being made in Bamberg, South Carolina and other rural and underserved areas across the state.”  

ACP Flyer

Learn how telehealth is used by local boards of disabilities and special needs

By News

Source: SCETV

Michaela Moss sits at her kitchen table. It is 10 p.m. at night. Beside her is Erica Kinloch, a healthcare technician for the Board of Disabilities and Special Needs. They talk on the phone with a telehealth facilitator for Station MD a telehealth service that the BDSN uses for their residents. After detailing an accident Michaela had, the facilitator can connect them to an ER doctor. In an entire process that takes 30 minutes, Michaela can connect to a doctor who can treat her through the tablet and peripherals Erica has brought with her.

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Telemedicine Still Going Strong as US COVID Fears Fade

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Dr. Ariel Santos (on the screen) director of the telemedicine program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, does a skin cancer screening on a patient

Source: VOA

During the coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine became a virtual phenomenon. As people remained in their homes during the pandemic, they began chatting with their doctors over the phone or video platforms on subjects such as chronic disease management, ongoing medical support, mental health issues and specialty care.

To reach their patients, many health professionals had to figure out quickly how to set up their first online systems for telemedicine, also known as telehealth.

“Doctors hadn’t provided it as an option previously because the infrastructure and technology wasn’t widely available,” said Dr. Shira Fischer, a physician policy researcher at the RAND Corp., which has conducted surveys asking Americans whether they use telehealth.

Fisher noted that in a February 2019 survey, less than 4% of the respondents said they used video telehealth. But two years later during the pandemic, that number had skyrocketed to 45%.

“I think telehealth is great,” said Michael Wu, a restaurant manager who lives in Alexandria, Virginia. “When I have a cold or the flu, I don’t have to take time off work to go to the doctor’s office for an exam, and maybe to get medication. It’s easier for me to have a video appointment with my doctor using my cellphone.”

Here to stay

Many health professionals think telemedicine is here to stay.

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See A Specialist Without Leaving Home

By News

Source: Michaela LeungMUSC Health

MUSC Health offers a new, convenient specialty telehealth option so rheumatology and endocrinology patients can get the quality care they need and deserve — from the comfort of home.

Let’s be honest, Charleston — sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Even when life is busy, though, our health should be one of our top priorities. Enter: MUSC Health’s brand new Virtual Specialty Care service, which offers at-home appointment convenience for new and existing rheumatology and endocrinology patients. The Virtual Specialty Care service is a welcomed addition to MUSC Health’s already existing telehealth options.

Whether it’s difficulty in traveling, taking time off from work, social anxiety, or the fear of long wait times, telehealth services are designed to remove any restrictions that might be keeping people from seeing the provider they need. Patients can access MUSC’s dedicated virtual team for the care they need with a variety of telehealth options available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the comfort of home. Available services now include:

  • Urgent care: Did you know? Telehealth visits for urgent care are free for SC state employees and MUSC employees who elect PEBA for health insurance. Urgent care-related conditions include allergies, colds, skin rashes, COVID-19, and more.
  • Specialty care: MUSC Health now offers virtual visits for rheumatology and endocrinology. This is also a good option for patients with autoimmune diseases, connective tissue diseases, thyroid conditions, or diabetes. Telehealth visits for specialty care services will bill your insurance. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be responsible for any co-pays.

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Telehealth Premier Event

By News

Written by: Elizabeth Merritt

Celebrating the launch of telehealth services that will increase access to quality health care. 

 Bamberg, S.C., March 29, 2023 – Palmetto Care Connections (PCC), a non-profit organization that brings technology, broadband, and telehealth solutions to health care providers in rural and underserved areas in South Carolina, celebrated the launch of telehealth services at the Bamberg County Office on Aging in Bamberg, S.C. on Monday, March 27.  

“We are so proud of the work that we do and are always looking to do more,” says Bamberg County Office on Aging Director Kay Clary. “To start telehealth is exciting for us. I hope that the seniors will take advantage of it and I feel like it’s moving us more towards the future in this area. We are pleased to be working with Palmetto Care Connections with the installment of telehealth and hope our community enjoys it.” 

Event speakers included Director Kay Clary of Bamberg County Office on Aging, Connie Munn, Director of South Carolina Department on Aging, South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette, South Carolina State House Representative Mark Smith, South Carolina Senator Brad Hutto, and Kathy Schwarting, Chief Executive Officer of PCC. 

“As we know, particularly with Bamberg, many areas in South Carolina are rural and we’ve seen the hospitals close. To be able to have that type of telehealth offered here at the Bamberg Office on Aging is phenomenal,” says Connie Munn, director of the South Carolina Department on Aging.    

Representative Mark Smith, along with Senator Brad Hutto, presented a house resolution honoring and celebrating Palmetto Care Connections for increasing medical care to the underserved. 

“It has taken public-private partnership to make this happen today. This is a beautiful example of how it can work beautifully when executed well,” says Representative Mark Smith.   

Providing quality health care could not be possible without internet access. Keynote Speaker and South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette recognized the importance of getting broadband out to rural areas to address the needs of South Carolina citizens.  

I am proud to tell you that over the course of the post-pandemic we’ve spent $480 million getting broadband out to our rural areas. Money that will take broadband down to the last mile,” says South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette.  

The launch of telehealth services at the Bamberg County Office on Aging also celebrates the seniors who have learned how to use telehealth through PCC’s Digital Literacy program.  

“We have today trained over 1,000 rural and underserved residents in South Carolina,” says Kathy Schwarting, chief executive officer of PCC.  In 13 counties, we’ve given out over 1,000 devices and we’ve helped over 1,000 people get Internet access; that is very important to us.” 

For more information on Palmetto Care Connections, visit  


About Palmetto Care Connections 

Established in 2010, Palmetto Care Connections (PCC) is a non-profit organization that brings technology, broadband, and telehealth solutions to health care providers in rural and underserved areas in South Carolina. PCC assists providers in keeping health care local and increasing quality services to underserved South Carolinians. For more information, visit