It's the largest employer in Sullivan County and an institution that serves people with a wide range of disabilities. With a state grant, the Center for Discovery will now expand a critical service. Our Eva McKend reports.
HARRIS, N.Y. -- Denise Thompson has been in and out of hospitals throughout her son Grant's life. Six years ago, the 17-year-old was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder that affects his breathing and his ability to walk and talk. The Center for Discovery began using telemedicine technology, video Ensephlograms, also known as EEGs, to better monitor his brain activity.
"It’s wonderful to see the kind of progress that Grant has made and I know a lot of people have worked very hard to bring this to the county, to get all of the equipment here, which is really quite amazing," said Thompson.
In partnership with New York City's Beth Israel Medical Center, the center can offer patients neurology appointments without actually having a doctor on site. In the next several months, the program will expand. Their hope is other institutions in rural areas across the state, ones that may not have access to advanced technology, will also be able to partner with them.
"We can serve people in the larger community and that would include the local community but it also might include people in remote areas of New York State that don’t have access to these kinds of services," said Charlotte Ostman, Senior Director of Clinical Services.
For mothers like Thompson, whose son experiences three different types of seizures that all require different medications, overnight monitoring with telemedicine technology is critical.
"Sleep is very important. More seizures tend to occur out of sleep and if you really want to capture those particular events that you are worried about and look at them on video, you need to have them in a place where you can do overnight video EEG monitoring," said Patty McGoldrick, nurse practitioner in neurology at Beth Israel.
So no more costly trips to the hospital. And no worry that the stress of traveling for a child that already has a lot of special needs will affect the brain reading. It comes as a major relief for Thompson and other parents at the center.
"Parents worry a lot about their children and what’s going on and knowing that this equipment can provide some of the answers is really helpful and makes me sleep better at night."