Shaun Neace has joined the Hazard Community and Technical College faculty to launch and lead the new Telemedicine Technician Assistant certificate program and he’s very excited about his new role. “HCTC is known for being a leader in academics and technical applications so being a part of the HCTC family is something that I couldn’t pass up. Anytime you have the chance to put your own imprint on something is great,” he said.
Telemedicine is not a new concept at all, but it is very new to the HCTC service region. Thanks to improvements in technology and broadband internet services in our area and across the state, the use of telemedicine is about to see a huge increase. “Several hospitals and other healthcare institutions are currently using or preparing to launch their own telemedicine services. These companies are going to need skilled individuals with the proper training to make these services viable and sustainable. We feel that our graduates will have the knowledge and skills to be successful in obtaining these positions and helping healthcare corporations provide high quality patient care via telemedicine,” Neace said.
Academic Dean Anna Napier said Shaun was the ideal coordinator for the program. “His knowledge and foresight are needed to move the Telemedicine Technician Assistant program forward to implementation and growth to meet the healthcare needs in our region,” Mrs. Napier said.
His goals for the classroom experience are for it to be educational, fun, and interesting. “Some of our curriculum calls for dedicated classroom time, some for lab time, and some for clinical time at various sites. Hopefully being able to have a variety of teaching environments for our students keeps it fresh and entertaining as we help them achieve their goals,” he said.
Students in the program are going to learn a lot about the healthcare system. Examples include communication, delivery systems, legal issues, and nurse aide training. Coordinating and presenting telemedicine encounters via videoconferencing and using telemedicine in general will be a big focus in the program. “I have been unable to find another program that offers what we will be providing with the launch of this program,” noted Neace.
Neace is a 2003 graduate of the Associate Degree Nursing Program. “My degree from HCTC allowed me to work as an RN for 13 years and help many people during that time. Ultimately, it has allowed me to come and give back to the school and the community with the start of this program. It never hurts to be ranked as a top community college in the nation either,” he said.
His work includes serving as a Registered Nurse for: Pikeville Medical Center, Manchester Memorial Hospital, Hazard ARH, and as a traveling nurse.
Neace, of Hazard, is married to Christina (Chrissy) Neace, also a graduate of the ADN Nursing Program at HCTC. The couple has two sons. Evan is 14 years old and attends Hazard High School and is a member of the Band of Gold. Easton Blaze is 14 months old.
HCTC is one of the recipients of SOAR’s Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund’s grants in the amount of $250,000 for the program. These funds will be used to create a telemedicine technician certificate and workforce training program that will begin in February 2017.
HCTC will purchase four Portable Telehealth Systems that will be used by students in both classroom settings at HCTC and clinical settings at Hazard Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), Paul E. Patton East Kentucky Veterans Center, and the University of Kentucky’s Center for Excellence in Rural Health (UKCERH).
HCTC will offer scholarships to credential seeking students as well as incumbent workers participating in workforce training and will train 20 students or incumbent workers each year.
HCTC appreciates the support of Hazard Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), the University of Kentucky’s Center for Excellence in Rural Health (UKCERH), and Dr. Jyotin Chandarana in the pursuit of this progressive healthcare initiative.
Anyone interested in this program should contact Shaun Neace at (606) 487-3590.