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Distance Learning / Telemedicine

Distance Learning

New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Coastal AHEC have been involved with interactive telecommunications since 1991 with the initiation of  the Vision Carolina distance learning trial sponsored by Bell South and Northern Telecom.. The experience with Vision Carolina led NHRMC and Coastal AHEC  to migrate to the North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH) in 1994. One classroom on campus, the Distance Learning Classroom, is dedicated to NCIH programming. The classroom seats 27 people, has two movable cameras, nine desk microphones, an overhead camera for graphics, and video playback capabilities.

Using the NCIH, NHRMC and Coastal AHEC are able to interactively communicate with any of the medical schools in North Carolina. Examples of programming include:

  • Surgical Grand Rounds with UNC-CH - weekly since Fall 1992
  • Surgical Visiting Professor with UNC-CH - monthly since 1992
  • Internal Medicine Grand Rounds with UNC-CH - monthly since 1994

In addition to these continuing programs we have participated in Graduate Degree programs with UNC-CH School of Public Health and the East Carolina University School of Nursing. We also participate in programming for public health personnel provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the UNC-CH School of Public Health.

Coastal AHEC is also part of the NC AHEC VISION video conferencing network. For more information on VISION click here.


Initiated in October 1995 with a link between New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Bladen County Hospital in Elizabethtown, NC the Telemedicine Program has grown to a robust regional educational and clinical network. In addition to the two original locations the network now includes JA Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport,  the Coastal Family Medicine Residency Program in Wilmington, and Pender Memorial Hospital in Burgaw. 

The technical component of the network includes videoconferencing equipment from CLI and VTEL, medical peripherals from American Medical Development, integration of  ISDN facilities for the use of all partners and a VTEL Smart Link MCS for network configuration and management.

The Coastal Family Medicine Residency Program joined the network in Fall 1999 as the result of a federally funded "Rural Outreach" grant award.



This page was last updated on February 24, 2003