Celebrating Rural Providers on National Rural Health Day

Cotton Field

The South Carolina Telehealth Alliance understands the barriers between rural South Carolinians and quality health care. It’s why we advocate for telehealth in rural South Carolina – to break down those barriers and expand access to the care that all people deserve, regardless of where they live.

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health celebrates National Rural Health Day every November to honor “the selfless, community-minded, ‘can-do’ spirit that prevails in rural America.”

The My Telehealth project has highlighted several champions of rural health care in the Palmetto State, including Dr. Oscar Lovelace from Prosperity and Dr. Danette McAlhaney in Bamberg.

“It takes a community to bring in a rural doctor,” said Dr. Lovelace.

Lovelace opened his family practice in Prosperity nearly 30 years ago, and in recent years has used telehealth to connect his patients to specialty care while still maintaining his relationship to his patients.

The doctor-patient relationship is also paramount for Dr. McAlhaney.

“I should be the one to see my patients through telehealth,” she said, “because my patients trust me.”

McAlhaney said she always knew she wanted to practice in a rural community, similar to the area where she grew up. She uses telehealth at her practice for mental health services through tele-psychiatry. But she’s also a telehealth provider for her own patients in the local schools. Through a program with the Bamberg School District, she uses telehealth to see her younger patients without having to leave her office.