New partnership aims to bring telehealth to rural doctors

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center at Mercer University partnered with the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth to bring rural physicians a new web-based telehealth consultation software.

Dr. Jean Sumner, the Dean of Mercer University’s School of Medicine says the COVID-19 pandemic is creating innovation within the medical community.

Dr. Sumner said, “Recently through this pandemic, the federal government has afforded us the opportunity to use telehealth more, and more appropriately so that the patients get the care they need in the right setting so we don’t expose anyone to the virus.”

Mercer University School of Medicine recognized the need for more widespread healthcare options during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school applied for a grant through the state of Georgia that allows them to offer rural doctors a free video conference software they can use to diagnose patients.

Mercer University and Georgia Department of Telehealth is now able to offer free telehealth to rural physicians for six months.

To participate in the new telehealth system, doctors in rural areas can simply call (478) 301-4700 or email An account will then be created, and become available for patients to start scheduling appointments immediately. Doctors will then be able to send patients an email with a link to their virtual appointment.

Mercer School of Medicine hopes to expand the partnership to offer more services to rural healthcare providers in the future.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.