21NTC Session

Telehealth in Rural Communities


Learn how a small library is launching a pilot program to provide access to quality health care through telehealth. In rural communities, libraries often have the fastest internet connection in town together with the digital literacy to assist users. Rural Americans face health inequities that result in worse health care than their peers in more populated areas. The distance to medical care results in people delaying or avoiding treatment because of the travel time involved. If emergency services are necessary, the additional travel time can create disastrous outcomes. Additionally, there are physician shortages in rural areas. Diminished internet access, typical of rural areas, is a factor in worse health outcomes. Working with healthcare partners,  this innovative program went from conception to improved community health.

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • understand how telehealth benefits a rural community
  • identify potential partners
  • explain the steps in developing a telehealth site

Target Audience

Doers on the front lines


CommunityOutreachProgram Development


Jessica Rangel

Vice Provost Academic Innovation

University of North Texas Health Science Center

Jessica Maack Rangel, MS RN FNAP is the Vice Provost of Academic Innovation at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth with over 33 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse clinician and Executive Patient Safety Officer. She now leads the Division of Academic Innovation that prepares current and future healthcare clinicians and leaders for holistic approaches to wellness while diligently pursuing the elimination of preventable harm in all settings, applied to everyone. As a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, she fosters an ecosystem of experiential, life-long learning for everyone.

Dianne Connery

Special Projects Librarian

Pottsboro Library

Dianne Connery is the Special Projects Librarian of the innovative Pottsboro (Texas) Public Library. She was a corporate trainer and entrepreneur before moving to a rural community ten years ago. On the verge of closing its doors, Dianne led a group of dedicated volunteers who transformed it into the vibrant community-gathering place it is today. She is passionate about the role of rural libraries.



March 25, 2021


12:15pm – 12:45pm