Wednesday, March 20, 2019

UMMC Partners w/ Firstnet for Rural Healthcare

UMMC issued the following statement.

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) and University of Mississippi Medical Center today signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on innovation for emergency medical care and response as well as mobile broadband for rural first responders for rural first responders in Mississippi and nationwide.

Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith joined executives from the FirstNet Authority and UMMC officials at a signing ceremony this morning on the UMMC campus to unveil the agreement.

“Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time – and in rural areas, communications is often a challenge,” Ross said. “FirstNet is designed to help meet these challenges and modernize public safety communications. With this collaboration, the FirstNet Authority and the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services are coming together to drive innovation for first responders in Mississippi and nationwide to help them save lives and protect communities.”

“The University of Mississippi leads the nation in advancing telehealth technology and emergency services. Through our collaboration with the FirstNet Authority, we will share our expertise and knowledge to help connect and innovate for first responders throughout the state and nationwide,” Bryant said. “Mississippi’s first responders are dedicated to serving our communities every day and in every emergency. I am excited about this collaboration and the benefits that it will deliver to our public safety community, as well as to first responders across the country - especially those in rural areas.”

“The collaboration with the FirstNet Authority shows UMMC will continue its leadership in telemedicine and emergency response to help those in need throughout the state,” Hyde-Smith said. “I’m proud of UMMC’s work to improve the health of rural Mississippians, and commend Secretary Ross for tapping the expertise of our medical center to provide the broadband connections needed to power the most advanced life-saving tools to keep Mississippians safe.”

“The collaboration announced today is well deserved for the University of Mississippi Medical Center,” U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said in a statement supporting the collaboration. “After years of strategic planning and investment, the Center for Emergency Services at UMMC will become a national resource on emergency communication in rural areas. The expertise we develop in Mississippi will help improve medical response and patient outcomes throughout our country.”

The FirstNet Authority, within the U.S. Department of Commerce, is responsible for ensuring the buildout of FirstNet, the only dedicated nationwide broadband network for America’s first responders. As part of its mission, the FirstNet Authority is working to better understand the needs of first responders operating in rural communities, where communications are often a challenge.

UMMC, Mississippi’s only academic health sciences center, established the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services to help the state maintain medical services during emergencies and disasters. Supporting that mission is UMMC’s extensive telehealth network, which in 2017 was designated one of two Telehealth Centers of Excellence by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

Together, the FirstNet Authority and the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services will drive innovation for rural emergency medicine and response and share case studies, lessons learned and best practices related to public safety’s use of mobile broadband in rural areas.

“We established the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services in part to help improve the knowledge and capabilities of first responders statewide, especially those serving the most remote areas,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “We can handle the medical support training and emergency response communications, but we need partners to help us with the technology necessary for every part of the state to be connected to potential life-saving support in real time.

“A collaboration with FirstNet will have a dramatically positive effect across the state during a disaster or other emergency event.”

Through this collaboration with UMMC, the FirstNet Authority will gain critical insight into how medical incidents are handled in rural communities— specifically, how first responders can leverage innovative technologies to improve medical response and patient outcomes. The FirstNet Authority and the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services plan to create demonstrations related to rural first responders’ use of broadband to be incorporated into the FirstNet Authority’s new experience program. This program aims to introduce first responders to current and future technologies through hands-on educational and learning experiences.

“Technologies for tele-emergency medicine will be transformative for our nation, equipping first responders with critical information when they need it most,” said FirstNet Board Chair Edward Horowitz. “Through this collaboration with UMMC, the FirstNet Authority will be better prepared to advance the public safety broadband capabilities for emergency services in our nation’s rural communities and help public safety operationalize technology for rural emergency response as the network evolves.”

“This collaboration will allow FirstNet Authority to draw on the expertise of one of our nation’s leading academic medical centers so that we can improve the FirstNet experience for first responders in Mississippi and across the country,” said FirstNet Authority Acting CEO Ed Parkinson. “We are thankful for this opportunity to work with the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services as we focus our efforts on public safety officials serving in rural areas and providing them with tools they need to help improve patient outcomes.”

“Technology is the key addition we need to improve emergency care in rural America,” said Dr. Damon Darsey, associate professor of emergency medicine and medical director of the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services. “This collaboration will help Mississippi share lessons learned and allow FirstNet to bring new technology and opportunities to challenge what is possible.”

The agreement also represents the first step toward establishing the FirstNet Authority’s University Program. The FirstNet Authority plans to partner with universities with expertise in different aspects of public safety communications to enhance the network and educate public safety employees on how best to use cutting-edge technologies.


Anonymous said...

Firstnet is scary stuff. It came about under the Obama administration and essentially means that the federal government has control of state first responder communications. In short, the federal government now controls the ability of state law enforcement and fire fighters to talk.

Anonymous said...

No. That's not what it means, and I'd ask you to cite specific examples to back up your case.

It's paid for by the feds, but each state can choose its own interoperable radio network, Mississippi chose AT&T to run theirs.

In an emergency, firefighters, police, and, yes, the feds, can talk to each other. In 911, they couldn't, in Katrina, they couldn't.

This is a good thing. Go put your tinfoil hat back on and eat some more Alex Jones-flavored pork rinds.

Anonymous said...

Actually First Net is only for data {every device gets a bill from AT&T), voice is still MSWIN. It’s all a hustle anyway, in the past a portable radio cost $300 dollars tops. Now it’s over $3,000. Real cute to a VFD with a $14,000 annual budget and 20 members. I read this release twice and still don’t understand what they are doing or how it will change anything. “Oh you lost A limb and you’re bleeding out? Hold on while I pull out my phone....” SMH.....

Anonymous said...

and eat some more Alex Jones-flavored pork rinds.

Do they have those at the K Roger?

Anonymous said...

@12:11 "It's paid for by the feds, but each state can choose its own interoperable radio network, Mississippi chose AT&T to run theirs." Uh, if the Feds are paying for it, you'd better believe they'll have some kind of influence, expectation, compliance, or control. Those who have the gold, make the rules, but Mississippi tries to cheat them at every turn. MS is long overdue for a major federal audit of numerous agencies as to where billions have been misspent.

Anonymous said...

2:49 - is that so? Please provide some specifics; since you don't seem willing to turn them in to the auditors I will be glad to do so for you. I'm sure you have direct details about those cases where "Billions have been misspent" and where "Mississippi has tried to cheat them at every turn".

Knowing that you wouldn't make such a statement without absolute knowledge, I can assure you that there are plenty of feds that would like to hear from you so that their previous audits of these federal funds could be updated and corrected.

Please rush the information out - we certainly wouldn't want this to go on any longer than it obviously - according to you - has. And if you don't want to do this through a memo, just post it all on a blog such as JJ; we can get it to the feds from there without any problem. That way you can keep your anonyminity.

Anonymous said...

All that boils down to is ATT was the winning bidder and got 20 additional MHz of spectrum in the 700 band for LTE. All ATT did was add the new PLMN for Firstnet to their existing sites so that the devices will see that and lock on. So their will still be dead spots like their are today to anyone else that has a ATT phone. The allotted 20MHz will carry any and all traffic, but Firstnet devices will be the priority. But if you don't have signal like out from Holy Bluff, the Firstnet service will be completely useless. Ideally what they should do is make ATT add LTE equipment to every MSWIN site that doesn't already have adequate coverage. That still wouldn't cover the coverage caps. LTE doesn't propagate like EVDO or CDMA does unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

The only concern I have is that Commander-Lieutenant Graham might NOT have been consulted regarding this communication rollout. He is the most experienced person in this state regarding towers, coaxial cable, contracts, communications and training.

Anonymous said...

Other than for a photo op and resume' bullet point, why was Cindy Bryant-Smith at this meeting?

Wait, never mind...I just answered my own question.

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