NC Telehealth Network connects first non-profit hospital

The North Carolina Telehealth Network (NCTN) has connected its first non-profit hospital. The Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC will be connected to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) thanks to completion of the first phase of the state’s Golden Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative.

Vidant Medical Center is part of Vidant Health, a 10-hospital non-profit collective serving Eastern North Carolina. Vidant Medical Center is using a combination of its fiber and MCNC-provided fiber for a fully-dedicated 1 gigabit per second connection to the NCTN. The NCTN, is a network dedicated to health care providers and public health facilities.

Vidant Medical Center is the first of 24 non-profit hospitals that will be connected to the NCTN over the next three months. Vidant Health plans to supplement the initial NCTN connection in Greenville with a second 1000 mbps, completely diverse connection to increase resiliency and to serve their backup data center expected to be operational this spring.

The NCTN is subsidized through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rural Health Care Pilot Program, which provides funding to eligible health care providers for telecommunications services.

NCTN is funded through a three-year $7.2 million contract with MCNC and the N.C. Office of Information Technology Services (ITS), and is directed by the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Clinics, community health centers, public health agencies, and non-profit hospitals currently make up the network.