LAUREL — Kiosks are being rolled out at Delaware’s libraries in an effort to provide telehealth access for rural and underserved communities across Delaware.
The program received a boost Monday when U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., announced $275,000 in Community Project Funding for the kiosks. The funding will go toward implementing eight additional telehealth kiosks in libraries throughout Delaware — in Wilmington, Newark, Elsmere, Woodlawn, Bear, Dover, Milford, Georgetown, Lewes and Laurel.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become a critical component of health care for communities across the country to get the care they need, including here in Delaware,” Rep. Blunt Rochester said in a statement.
“With the $275,000 in Community Project Funding, Delaware libraries will be able to secure additional telehealth kiosks for libraries across the state to meet community needs — from telemedicine to employment assistance to legal services. I’m proud to have secured this Community Project Funding to expand the program and make these services more accessible to Delawareans, and look forward to its implementation throughout libraries across the state.”
Delaware libraries were chosen for the kiosks because they are a common space for the most underserved in the community, according to Rep. Blunt Rochester’s office, including people experiencing homelessness, mental illness, veterans, immigrants and the elderly.
The kiosk project is currently being piloted at the Seaford, Laurel and Milford libraries. These kiosks are designed to provide a solution for Delawareans who need privacy and high-speed internet access for not just telehealth visits, but also job interviews, legal appointments and more.
Each of the three libraries has one kiosk which is equipped with an iPad and operated by trained staff to assist with tech issues, scheduling and directing patrons to other resources if their needs are more serious.
For telehealth visits, patrons can connect with existing providers via video conferencing or work with social workers to find a new provider. The initial focus of the pilot has been on behavioral health, employment assistance, and legal services, Rep. Blunt Rochester’s office said.