Licensed Professional Counselor - Mental Health Service Provider Shaine Malekgoodar, seen in monitor screen, can connect with Hope Family Health patients in Westmoreland, TN, its sattelite locations, or at home, when using the high-speed fiberoptic cable network of North Central Telephone Cooperative Corporation (NCTC), headquartered in Lafayette, TN, on Sept. 27, 2018. Rural patients and remote healthcare professionalsto are now able to conduct live, clear, delay-free, face-to-face consultations. NCTC services enable remote behavioral health, opioid and other substance abuse counseling using telemedicine carts that are easily moved from clinic to clinic as needed. In development is the ability to perform general and family medicine consultations with the same carts.
Hope uses NCTC to handle all of their voice, video, and data communications; as well as the Electronic Health Records (EHR) management over an NCTC Virtual Private Network (VPN) where patient medical and dental records are kept safe and secure in the NCTC secure cloud data storage facility. The system also enables the use of records at Hopeâs satellite clinics and safe transmission to other health professionals as needed.
Additionally, the high-speed data connection supports increased efficiency in its on-site pharmacy and dental services.
North Central Telephone Cooperative Corporation (NCTC), headquartered in Lafayette, Tennessee has been an active borrower with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) since 1951. They service subscribers in several exchanges across both Tennessee and Kentucky. The cooperative is a full-service provider, providing voice, video, data, broadband, home security, cloud services, and data center solutions.
Over the past 10 years, NCTC has received funds in the form of $101,782,663M in loans and $25,930,868M in grants.
The companyâs most recent loan, which was obligated in 2017, will be used to make system improvements in 5 of North Central's 10 exchanges (Green Grove, Hillsdale, Red Boiling Springs, Scottville, and Lafayette). This will complete their fiber to the premises network throughout their territory. This project is currently in the âconstructionâ phase.
USDAâs Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers programs that provide much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. These include water and waste treatment, electric power, and telecommunications services. All of these services play a critical role in helping to expand economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural residents.
In February of 2008 tornados destroyed much of the area and took many lives, NCTC began working to build a safe, tier II+ facility that is EF-5 Tornado resistant with SSAE16 security validation. The data center houses the telephone soft switch for NCTC customers. North Central Cloud Solutions utilize virtualized computing and networking services such as off-site data back-up, hosted servers, disaster recovery, and secure data storage which keep these rural customers up to speed with urban communities and utilities.
USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.