Valwood student helps patients stay connected to their health care provider

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:31 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A high school student is on a mission to help keep patients who don’t have phones, connected to their doctor.

George Tidmore, a Valwood student, proposed a phone donation project to Partnership Health Center.

“It’s wonderful to be able to help people in our community, especially some of the people who are the most vulnerable in our community,” said Tidmore.

Tidmore said that he volunteered at a doctor’s office last summer and helped connect patients to health providers for telemedicine visits. He said he noticed people lacked technology skills and equipment to make the visits possible.

Partnership health center collects phones for patients.
Partnership health center collects phones for patients.(WALB)

That’s when the idea was born and he decided he wanted to help.

“The project fits exactly our patient population because they have a lot of needs, and communication is one of them,” explained John Sparks, the executive director of Partnership Health Center, a charity clinic that provides primary and urgent care for those without insurance.

Sparks said that they’ve been doing other forms of telehealth for a few years. He said it’s showed great response and outcomes in the community.

“This helps substantially for them to be able to see progress in their health and I think it gives them a bit of control and feeling like they’re not always at the doctor’s office. Which is helpful,” said Amanda Stone, a physician assistant and director of clinical services.

Stone said this will be a game-changer for many of their patients. The phones will help with their remote patient monitoring program. Via a phone call, they can help patients control blood pressure, diabetes and keep track of their health log.

Partnership health center collects phones for patients.
Partnership health center collects phones for patients.(WALB)

Stone said most of their patients have financial barriers.

These phones will be very convenient for them, especially for those who don’t have transportation.

Once the phones are donated, the clinic will help the patient connect the phone through a provider that has a Lifeline Plan. That’s a federal program that provides free phone service.

Devices that can’t be used will be donated to other non-profits in the area.

If you’d like to help, you can donate any phone and charger, but they prefer smartphones. You can drop off donations at the center at 520 Griffin Avenue or at their other location at 205 Woodrow Wilson Drive.

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