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Grand Rounds and Continuing Medical Education Courses Offered on Secure Videoconference Network to Providers Across Washington State and Alaska Beginning June 10 SEATTLE, Wash. – June 10 – Virginia Mason Medical Center is boosting its investment in technology by utilizing GCI’s ConnectMD service to strengthen its relationships with physicians and clinicians throughout Washington and Alaska. Using the secure, managed medical network service, Virginia Mason will begin offering Grand Rounds, Continuing Medical Education (CME), and other educational courses via videoconferencing to health care workers in urban and remote areas of both states. The first course delivered live over the GCI ConnectMD network, “Food and the Heart: The Influence of Nutrition in Heart Health,” will occur June 10 from Virginia Mason’s state-of-the-art Volney Richmond, Jr. Auditorium. The auditorium underwent a major technology upgrade in 2004, including the installation of leading-edge video conferencing technology which will be managed by GCI. Virginia Mason offers the highest levels of accreditation and courses delivered by world-renowned physicians. “The demand for this type of educational content is strong not only in large urban hospitals, but also in many smaller, more remote clinics,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “Traveling to Seattle to take these courses is not always realistic due to cost and the demanding time constraints of the medical field. GCI’s ConnectMD network helps us meet the demand and allows providers to receive credit for taking the best educational content from the convenience of their own hospital or clinic.” Electronic medical networks are among the fastest growing segments in health care today. GCI ConnectMD is a secure, managed network service of Anchorage-based GCI that was built to conform to HIPAA and has evolved to become a platform for patient diagnosis and consultation, the transmission of patient and administrative information, and outsourced billing and coding services. Today there are 110 health care institutions and related medical service providers exchanging information through GCI ConnectMD. The partnership with Virginia Mason provides a full range of educational content, including Grand Rounds, Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) and Tumor Boards. “Continuing medical education, nursing education and other courses delivered via videoconferencing is the next phase in the evolution of our ConnectMD service offering,” said Martin Cary, Vice President and General Manager of GCI’s Managed Broadband Services. “We are pleased to partner with Virginia Mason to support its extension of quality care through the delivery of the highest quality educational content to physicians and clinicians throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.” Virginia Mason’s Department of Continuing Medical Education provides quality continuing education that presents practical, evidence-based best clinical practice information and innovation in medicine. The CME courses are of the highest quality and enhance physicians' and health care providers' abilities to improve the health and well-being of patients and the community. Virginia Mason Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME for physicians. In 2004, Virginia Mason's CME program received Re-Accreditation with Commendation from the ACCME. Virginia Mason's CME program received "Exemplary Compliance" ratings in six key elements, which puts Virginia Mason's program in the top one percent of CME programs in the country. About Virginia Mason Medical Center Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. About GCI GCI is the largest Alaska-based and -operated integrated telecommunication provider. A pioneer in bundled services, GCI provides local, wireless, and long distance telephone, cable television, Internet and data communication services. More information about the company can be found at www.gci.com. GCI ConnectMD is a secure, managed medical network service offering videoconferencing, VPN, and secure information exchange. For more information, visit www.connectmd.com. ###
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