Women Making Telemedicine History: Kerry Palakanis
Women’s History Month is upon us, and one of the ways we are celebrating is by highlighting women who are making telemedicine history. This week, we are shining the spotlight on Dr. Kerry Palakanis, a remarkable nurse practitioner that we are thrilled to have as a client. Learn how she is providing care to rural island patients without ever leaving her office.
Dr. Kerry Palakanis DNP, FNP-C is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has worked for over 26 years in rural health care in a variety of settings across the country. In the past, she served as president of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland. Today she provides primary care, behavioral health, and substance abuse care to patients via telemedicine. She is also a founding board member of the Maryland Telehealth Alliance, a board member of the Maryland Rural Health Commission, and a legislative committee member for the Maryland Rural Health Association.
How It All Began
Dr. Palakanis grew up in a rural town with no healthcare provider, which initiated her interest in providing care to rural areas. In fact, it was the reason she opened the Crisfield Clinic, a private family practice. Her goal was to provide care to the rural, underserved community of Crisfield, MD. What began as a place of care for those in Somerset County, soon expanded to surrounding areas like Dorchester, Wicomico, and Caroline County. Telemedicine allowed her to establish remote telehealth sites on Smith Island and across the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
“I realized that areas don’t just lack providers but also geographic and socioeconomic barriers that make it hard for people to get help. There is also a lack of specialist.” – Kerry Palakanis
Telemedicine helped Dr. Palakanis reach those who have many barriers to receiving care. It is especially helpful for those living on Smith Island.
Transforming Access to Care on Smith Island
Smith Island is an island on the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. While the island may be known for its maritime activities, those who live there experience limited access to care. On days with bad weather or when the water freezes, citizens are in a sense stuck on the island unless they use a State Trooper helicopter to fly them to a hospital on the mainland. This process can be expensive and takes from the island’s resources.
Luckily, that is where Crisfield Clinic comes in. By using SimpleVisit as a telemedicine solution at Crisfield, Dr. Palakanis is able to see and monitor a patient’s progress without them ever stepping foot off the island. And in the case of an emergency situation, Dr. Palakanis can advise the patient receive assistance using proper resources in a timely manner. In cases like these and others that Crisfield Clinic deals with, telemedicine helps both the provider and the patient to make sound decisions.
Some patients may be a little reluctant to be seen via telemedicine, but that is where awesome providers like Dr. Palakanis come in. She is able to really connect and build a relationship with her patients. SimpleVisit enables her to offer them the right type of treatment and makes the process simple and convenient.
The Celebration Continues
Join us in celebrating Women’s History all throughout the month! Check back here later in the month to see another feature on Women Making Telemedicine History. We will also be posting all month long about women who are forging healthcare solutions using telemedicine. To get these updates, follow us on Twitter or check out the hashtag #womenintelehealth.
About Simple Visit
SimpleVisit is a video service which allows patients and providers to connect over the video platform of their choice. With SimpleVisit providers are able to deliver on-demand visits to patients over any device or platform they have available to them. For more information on SimpleVisit and on how we are enabling providers to host virtual visits check out www.SimpleVisit.com
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