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The pandemic’s impact on health care, broadband access and what it means for the future of telehealth

The April event is free to the public and will include an opportunity for Q&A with industry insiders and decision makers #CNtelehealth

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Online doctor and telemedicine: woman connecting with a doctor online using a smartphone app and having a professional medical consultation

Virtual Event - (April 5, 2021) – The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden and unexpected surge in telehealth usage across the country. This forced both patients, providers, and policymakers to rethink when and how to use the technology and address who had access and who did not.

Connected Nation Michigan, the statewide program of national nonprofit Connected Nation, is bringing together industry insiders and health care experts to explore what changed over the last year of the pandemic, how they responded and continue to respond, and what challenges or opportunities remain for the future of telehealth in America.  

“The US health care system made huge advances in telehealth as a result of the pandemic, but questions remain about what is working, what isn’t, and what’s ahead—including looking at the technological challenges,” said Eric Frederick, Executive Director, Connected Nation Michigan. “That’s why we are convening both those working in and with the health care industry and those who understand how the technology is used and why broadband (high-speed internet) access is critical for serving more people, especially in rural areas.”

The event will occur on Tuesday, April 13, and is free to the public both in Michigan and nationwide. Anyone can sign up online by heading to this webpage:

The keynote speaker for the event will be Michigan’s first African American Lt. Governor, Garlin Gilchrist II, who has also had a long career as a leader in technological advancements.  Two roundtable discussions will feature industry experts in rural broadband, telehealth applications, health care regulations, and real-world use in areas of physical and occupational rehabilitation, health monitoring, and examine the implications of telehealth and broadband access—or lack of it—for older adults.

The summit will consist of a consolidated discussion about telehealth and broadband and offer the audience an opportunity to ask questions throughout the event.  You can share questions and comments before, during, or after the event by using the hashtag #CNtelehealth.

Telehealth before the pandemic

This summit will build upon a telehealth study released by Connected Nation Michigan conducted just days before COVID-19 closures began.  The study was done in partnership with AARP and funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in 5 Michigan counties - Gladwin, Sanilac, Roscommon, Osceola, and Dickinson counties.

A  comprehensive report was released in late February 2020 that provided the research findings; recommendations ready for implementation that addresses and provides ideas designed to help reduce the barriers to telemedicine use identified in the study; and state-level policy recommendations, based in fact, that will facilitate the further implementation of telemedicine.

In accordance with the recommendations provided in the report, Connect Nation Michigan has been facilitating awareness events which included a series of 5 webinars that brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss telehealth developments due to the public health crisis, policy considerations, and what the future of telehealth looks like. 

To learn more about the webinars and to find all the webinar videos and presentations, visit  

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About Connected Nation Michigan: CN Michigan is a local subsidiary of the national nonprofit Connected Nation, which has worked for nearly two decades to identify innovative solutions to connect every family, business, and community to broadband (high-speed internet).

Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. For more information, please visit: or