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USDA funds innovative KVC telemedicine project to support kids in foster care

KVC leaders embrace technology. Back row L-R: Regina Klyachkin (VP of Operations, KVC Kentucky), Brent Lemon (President, KVC West Virginia), Erin Keltner (VP of Operations, KVC West Virginia); Front: Jarrod Dungan (Director of IT/HR , KVC Kentucky), Elizabeth Croney (President, KVC Kentucky), Josh Fisherkeller (Foster Care Treatment Director, KVC Kentucky)

KVC leaders embrace technology. Back row L-R: Regina Klyachkin (VP of Operations, KVC Kentucky), Brent Lemon (President, KVC West Virginia), Erin Keltner (VP of Operations, KVC West Virginia); Front: Jarrod Dungan (Director of IT/HR , KVC Kentucky), Elizabeth Croney (President, KVC Kentucky), Josh Fisherkeller (Foster Care Treatment Director, KVC Kentucky)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it will invest in a KVC project that uses rural telecommunications equipment to help expand access to education and improve healthcare.  

The $330,696 grant will be used to purchase 400 iPads for foster homes in West Virginia and Kentucky, in order to give them a direct link to behavioral healthcare and ongoing education. The funds will also support the development of a video conferencing platform which will provide a standard, stable way to increase the connection between children in foster care, their support system and KVC staff. The iPads will also enable children to participate in educational programs via school-sponsored electronic platforms. This ensures that children in foster care do not fall behind in school performance and receive more support than the average child in their educational goals. There are plans to expand the availability of iPads to other KVC subsidiaries in Kansas and Nebraska after a successful initial implementation.

“This USDA-funded project will bring life-changing support to children and teens in foster care in a rural, underserved region,” said B. Wayne Sims, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems, Inc. “For a child who has experienced abuse or neglect, an iPad can be a direct link to a highly-trained, caring therapist who stands ready to listen and help. The technology will also provide foster parents with new training on how to handle family challenges. KVC Health Systems is proud of its innovative approach to foster care, and we see this partnership with the USDA as an important part of raising the bar in child welfare.”