Lt. Gov. Cooney meets with home health care facility looking to offer special apprenticeship

Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney sits in with First Choice Home Health officials at a roundtable meeting on July 28, 2020.

BOZEMAN- First Choice Home Health held a roundtable meeting with Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney on July 28, 2020, discussing plans to become the first facility in Montana to offer a remote patient management apprenticeship.

The locally owned health care facility is planning for the future as the jump to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic increases.

The remote patient management apprenticeship would allow patients to be monitored remotely for their day-to-day needs such as checking vital signs and dispensing medications.

Lt. Gov. Cooney sat in on the meeting and spoke with the locally owned home health facility on expanding ways people can receive healthcare remotely.

“We’re seeing the growth in telemedicine and how we can continue to respond to the needs of Montana, were a very rural state, lots of people don’t have the ability to be near the nearest healthcare provider, their clinic, or hospital so telemedicine is growing,” Lt. Gov. Cooney said.

Floyd Khumalo, community relations manager of First Choice Home Health, said a goal of the remote patient management program and the devices used for the program will make it safer for healthcare workers to monitor patients without the in-person contact.

“Not having that daily contact with a person, these devices help make sure that you know how your parent and loved one is doing regardless of the distance so this takes away distance for a lot of people to make sure that healthcare is delivered, almost personalized every day at the comfort of their home,” Khumalo explained.

A goal of the program is to have patients reach out to their health care provider only when the situation needs it.

The facility is also working with the Montana Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program to pursue apprenticeship programs in palliative care and medical coding through the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program.

Lt. Gov. Cooney visited First Choice Home Health in November after they became the first home health agency in the state to offer a caregiving apprenticeship and offer a dementia curriculum.

You can find out more information about First Choice Home Health here.

News For You