"Bringing this kind of technology to our clinic will directly benefit our patients and our partners in remote areas of the county", stated Zara Marselian, La Maestra's chief executive officer. "Thanks to Verizon, we have been able to expand our telemedicine capabilities in the areas of ENT diagnosis and dermatology. The dermascope we purchased will play a critical role in caring for patients with diabetes. Telemedicine is a big part of our future and one of the most important trends in health care today."
La Maestra has been a telemedicine provider since 2005 and is the first urban clinic in San Diego to implement a telemedicine programme. Currently, La Maestra provides mental-health services to rural clinics in San Diego and Imperial counties and has created a network of speciality providers, such as the Scripps Mercy Hospital cardiology department, that are willing to participate in this innovative approach to increase access for patient care.
David Shaw, M.D., M.B.A, cardiologist and director of graduate medical education at Scripps Mercy Hospital, stated: "This technology allows for further collaboration between clinics through extended clinical reach and the sharing of resources, which in turn offers the members of our community health care options they might not otherwise have access to."
Elva Lima, Verizon's vice president of strategic programmes, stated: "Broadband technology is revolutionizing the way we live, and nowhere is its potential greater than in the field of health care. Verizon is building the communications networks that are making this revolution possible, and, at the same time, we are investing in farsighted projects such as La Maestra's, which are leading the way in using technology to benefit everyone in our community."
Since 1990, La Maestra has been providing quality health care and community services to more than 68.000 ethnically diverse clients in San Diego. La Maestra, the largest employer in City Heights, San Diego's most culturally diverse neighbourhood, has a staff of more than 147 doctors, dentists, mental-health providers, nurses, counselors, social workers and staff who speak 19 different languages and dialects. Clients of La Maestra can receive a full range of primary medical services for all ages.
Additionally clients can receive dental, behavioural health, vision and geriatric care. Social services including job placement, eligibility, outreach, transportation, translation, housing assistance, health education and a food pantry are also available. La Maestra currently provides services through an assortment of 14 converted residential buildings on a single city block in City Heights. La Maestra also has clinics in National City, El Cajon and a school based medical and dental clinic at Hoover High School.
Verizon Communications Inc., headquartered in New York, is an expert in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 69 million customers nationwide.
Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228.600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93,5 billion. More company news can be found in the VMW March 2008 article Verizon teams with Medical College of Georgia to test wireless cutting-edge technology.