Texas A&M/OnMed Integrated Healthcare Station offers new option for medical care in Milam County
Milam County residents now have a new option for health care.
The Texas A&M/OnMed Integrated Healthcare Station is now open for demonstration following a ribbon cutting Tuesday, July 7, meaning county residents will have a new option for telehealth close to home.
The new station, which is currently being constructed in the Milam County Sheriff’s Office, will allow residents to visit with a physician through telehealth beginning this fall.
Dr. Joy Alonzo with the Texas A&M Health Science Center said the station will begin demonstrations for community members and testing to make sure the station is ready for use by the public.
“This is the next best thing to being able to visit with a physician,” she said. “It is a very large unit that is welcoming to the patient.”
She said the station will be just like visiting the doctor’s office without the drive.
The floor of the unit will take the patient’s weight and a thermographic camera will take their temperature along with a blood pressure cuff that will take the patient’s blood pressure.
Those statistics will then be sent to a physician and that physician will come on the screen to talk with the patient.
“Unlike a typical telemedicine visit now, with this a physician can get data right away and help to diagnose the patient,” Alonzo said.
Alonzo said the station also has a medical-grade camera worm that can look at the patient’s ears, throat or anything else and can dispense medication through a pharmacy robot on the spot or can send an E-script to your pharmacy.
“This will fill the gap when providers are closed,” she said. “It will also fill the gap for urgent care after hours when providers are closed.”
There will be a flat fee for services and patients can file with their insurance if they would like to.
The healthcare station is funded through a grant to Texas A&M from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
Alonzo said the station will be ready for patient use early this fall. They are expected to have demonstrations following COVID-19 guidelines beginning July 7 by invitation only, which will include key stakeholders and community officials.
County Commissioners approved the placement of the integrated healthcare station at the Sheriff’s Office in Cameron during a meeting May 11.
Texas A&M made the request to install an integrated healthcare station in the lobby of the Milam County Sheriff’s Office. The integrated healthcare station was originally going to be in Rockdale, but the location was changed based on timeline of the project, cost and Texas A&M safety requirements according to Alonzo.
Alonzo was on hand to talk with Milam County residents in January about the possibility of new health care options in the county in several meetings.
The Moonshot initiative, a $10 million grant through Blue Cross Blue Shield, is funding a research project to find a solution to the loss of health care services in rural communities across the country.
Alonzo and her team chose Milam County as a pilot project for several different things that will help with emergency response in the county. She said they chose the county due to the recent closure of the hospitals and its proximity to College Station.
Alonzo said Texas has lost about 15 critical access hospitals in the last year.
If you would like to learn more about the project of see a demonstration you can visit the MoonshotP2 Facebook page or website at moonshotp2.tamu.edu