Summer Reading Series: Assignment #1 E-Rate and Rural Health Care

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Windstream’s E-Rate and Rural Health Care marketing expert, Jennifer Head, reviews her top resources in Assignment #1, the first installment of our Summer Reading Series.

Of course we know the Internet is a limitless vault of references for any topic—and this is especially true when it comes to anything related to government programs. Since my focus is marketing Windstream’s involvement in programs such as E-Rate and RHC (Rural Health Care), I rely on many of these resources for updates, changes, deadlines and critical announcements.

I also use them to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our K-12 education or rural health care customers and prospects. Our technology solutions solve many business challenges, but each of these segments have very specific, unique requirements, so it’s important that I keep up with what’s going on in their daily world and not just their technology needs. 

E-Rate Assignments:

Required reading: For official E-Rate information, I go straight to the source: usac.org. This is a goldmine for anyone seeking E-Rate training, application forms, eligibility requirements or just answers in general. (The U.S. Department of Education also has a handy E-Rate snapshot here—you can check this out in your spare time!)

Reading for understanding: When I’m digging for general K-12 news, I turn to the Education Week blog. They’ve got a great Digital Education section, but overall, it’s just a great resource for what’s going on in the K-12 world. The nationwide news articles are helpful, but sometimes I find the state or local pieces even more beneficial. Challenges in K-12 education vary greatly by state and with Windstream’s nationwide footprint, it’s critical for us to keep that in mind.

Extra credit: Take a minute to read Jessica Rosenworcel’s (Commissioner, FCC) recent Huffington Post blog (co-authored with Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District), “Giving Our Kids a Chance to Compete in the Global Economy Means High-Speed Broadband Capacity.” I love this piece and I have tremendous respect for her leadership in “rebooting E-Rate for the 21st century.”

Rural Health Care (RHC) Assignments:

Required reading: Again, when seeking official RHC program updates, I go right back to usac.org for the final word. I’d recommend this site to any rural HCP seeking to apply for funding, determine whether they’re in an official rural area, find eligibility criteria or general program details. The funding process starts with this site, so I’d suggest bookmarking this one. (I visit this site daily, so I’ve added it to my favorites!) 

Reading for understanding: The needs of more remote, rural hospitals or clinics and the communities they serve are completely different than those of their urban peers. Economic factors, cultural and social differences and sheer geography often work against rural HCPs. Ensuring that we have a grasp of these distinct obstacles and challenges is key in understanding their exact technology needs and how to customize their telehealth solutions. I often visit AmericanTelemed for its updates regarding technology in healthcare. This site offers a blend of helpful insights and it’s easy to navigate. The American Hospital Association also has a great spot dedicated to rural health care industry news and even a section geared specifically towards small or rural hospitals.

Extra credit: Not even sure what “telehealth” is, much less how it affects healthcare in a rural setting? Take a peek at the “Rural Health IT Toolbox” on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s site.

About Our Summer Reading Series

This summer, our own Windstream bloggers are reviewing some of their favorite resources relevant to their areas of expertise—other blogs, online publications, websites, books and other top resources—and sharing them with our readers and followers. Throughout the series, you’ll find great insight and links to lots of helpful resources you’ll want to read and bookmark for future reference. Of course, you can contact a Windstream E-Rate Advisor or Windstream RHC Advisor too, to learn more about featured programs, products and services including today’s assignment topic, E-Rate and Rural Health Care programs.