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Medical Missions For Children Partners with U.S. Department of Defense's PIMS Program to Extend Global Telemedicine Network

24 Июня 2002

"Medicine for Peace" Program to Bring Healthcare to Children in Underserved Countries;
Harnesses Interactive Video Communications to Obtain Broader Reach

PATERSON, N.J. June 24, 2002 - Medical Missions for Children, a non-profit organization featuring a global telemedicine and learning network that enables children's hospitals outside the United States to consult with U.S. hospitals and medical specialists to help catastrophically ill children, and the U.S. Department of Defense's Partnership for Peace (PfP) Information Management Systems Program (PIMS), today announced "Medicine for Peace," a strategic partnership designed to supply interactive medical education and telemedicine consultations by working with and through the U.S. military.

In addition to providing medical care to critically ill children, the partnership agreement between the organizations will focus on training, education, and familiarization of medical procedures, philosophies, and equipment in PfP partner countries' hospitals. The agreement calls for the establishment of a multi-site virtual telemedicine video and data network to be used for bio-terrorism and disaster relief programs. In addition, existing networks will be used by Medical Missions for Children to present educational material on landmine detection and removal, treatment of landmine related injuries and trauma, and the ability to mentor difficult surgeries. The video and data network will be capable of transferring patient records including x-rays, CT scans, and images to a U.S.-based hub for distribution to participating U.S. physicians.

Additionally, the program will use commercial satellites leased by the U.S. Department of Defense for communication within each targeted country and will leverage interactive video communications systems from Polycom, Inc., the leading provider voice, video, data and web communications solutions.

"The opportunity to partner with a well-established and successful program such as the Department of Defense's Partnership for Peace Information Management Systems Program will vastly extend the reach and capabilities of Medical Missions for Children," said Frank Brady, chairman of Medical Missions for Children. "During our initial pilot program with PfP, we are focused on extending care to the Republic of Georgia and Uzbekistan. Following the pilot program, we plan to extend the reach of Medical Missions for Children to several other countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Macedonia, and Romania."

The Medical Missions for Children Global Telemedicine and Learning Network is made possible through a group of volunteer physicians and hospitals in the U.S. and partners including the United Nations, The Brody School of Medicine, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and Polycom.

"Establishing and maintaining key corporate, non-profit, and public sector partnerships is critical to the long-term success of Medical Missions," said Brady. "Our recent partnership with Polycom provides us with the audio, video and data conferencing technology required and is a great example of how non-profit organizations and the public sector and help people around the world."

"PIMS is excited to be collaborating with Medical Missions for Children. It is our hope that such a partnership will provide the impetus for the enhancement of civil-military medical partnerships within the Central Asian and Caucasian regions to ensure that effective medical training is available for casualties related to humanitarian demining, peace support operations, and disaster relief," remarks Rita Purcell-Robertson, PhD, Lead Consultant for the PIMS Medical Readiness Project. "PIMS continues to support U.S. Department of Defense goals to further focused security cooperation objectives to improve international medical readiness and facilitate collaborative database and curricula development. The program is working to establish a synergistic network of subject matter experts through 'public, private, and academic' teaming that will satisfy transformation of military education and training priorities, and benefit general public health issues. PIMS anticipates that this relationship will open the door to other U.S. and international experts working in medical informatics and related technologies."

"We are pleased to be working with Medical Missions for Children and the U.S. Department of Defense on the Medicine for Peace initiative," said Craig Malloy, senior vice president and general manager of video communications at Polycom. "The use of interactive video communications will help bridge the distance between the children in need and physicians, allowing them to see patients and share data such as x-rays in real time. In addition to patient sessions, the systems are also instrumental in education, training and even allow systems engineers to direct repairs to critical life-saving equipment. We are proud to be participating in the formation of this global telemedicine network."

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