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Daemen College will launch its long-awaited interactive telemedicine network with rural locations at 2 p.m. Oct. 7 in Room 101 of the Business and Commerce Building on the college campus in Snyder.

Educators and representatives of health-care agencies in Wyoming, Steuben, Orleans and Livingston counties will be on hand for the launching ceremony and a demonstration of the network connection to Wyoming County Community Hospital.

"Through the network, we will provide opportunities for continuing professional education for nurses, physical therapists, physician assistants and other health-care professionals in Western New York's rural north and southern tiers," Daemen President Martin J. Anisman said.

"The network will also offer public programs in health education to residents of these same communities."

Initial sites besides Daemen and Wyoming County hospital are Mercycare Residential Health Care Facility in Steuben County; Medina Hospital in Orleans County; and the Charles May Vocational Center in Livingston County.

In addition, emergency rooms at Medina and Wyoming County hospitals will be linked to the college and to the Erie County Medical Center Emergency Care Center, to allow training and consultation between trauma-care physicians at these facilities, officials said.

Both public and professional programs will be offered at all sites. Rural sites will have online access to the Daemen library, with Web-based medical information and links to major health-related databases.

"Video conferencing and Web-based programming are very cost-effective and efficient methods of delivering up-to-date information on health education and preventive care to both the lay and professional communities," said Keith Taylor, project director and chairman of the physical therapy program at Daemen.

Community-oriented programming planned for the network include an emergency medicine course for volunteer firefighters to be taught by Daemen faculty in the college's nursing, physical therapy and physician-assistant programs.

Public education programming will feature such health issues as nutrition, fitness and preventive care.

Daemen received a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help establish the telemedicine network.

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