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JEFFERSON CITY - The federal government has prescribed some cash for rural Missouri communities. A grant from the USDA gives $220,000 to build 11 new Telehealth clinics around the state, including one in Linn. Telehealth allows doctors to meet with patients via video conferencing. Specialists from larger cities can visit with their patients over the Internet in small towns that have a Telehealth clinic.

The grant also supplies new equipment in 19 existing Telehealth clinics. Clinics from around the state partner with MU to implement the technology. The camera for the video conferencing is so good that dermatologists can diagnose skin disorders just by looking on the monitor.

The technology can even help Missourians who don't speak English.

"We can call in a translator for patients who speak just about any language...Spanish...even Burmese," said Alan Stevens, CEO of Community Health Center of Central Missouri. "It gives our doctors, nurses and patients a better experience."

Stevens also said Telehealth will help save patients travel costs by shortening the travel time to a doctor's appointment.

The new locations will open in Advance, Braymer, Cainsville, Hamilton, King City, Linn, Mound City, Oregon, Pilot Knob, Savannah and Viburnum.

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