Telehealth and regular face-to-face visits bring orthopedic care from the Twin Cities to Nebraska kids

I love these stories when broadband just makes someone’s life better. The Omaha World Herald reports…

Jennifer Olsen has been traveling back and forth between Lincoln and Minneapolis regularly since her daughter, Maylena, was 8 months old.

At first, they made about two trips a year. The number peaked at 16 in the last half of 2013 when Maylena had the first of three procedures to lengthen a leg that’s shorter than the other. Last year, they made the drive 13 times and this year three — so far.

But Jennifer Olsen is hoping a new collaboration between Boys Town National Research Hospital and Shriners Healthcare for Children-Twin Cities will cut their drive time for some routine visits from seven hours to an hour.

The two organizations announced Thursday in a room packed with fez-wearing Shriners — and a clown — that orthopedic specialists from the Minneapolis hospital will travel to Omaha to hold regular face-to-face clinics at Boys Town, beginning in September.

Boys Town also will serve as the first telehealth site in the Minneapolis hospital’s service territory, which covers six states and parts of Canada.

The aim is to provide greater access to orthopedic care for existing and new patients in Nebraska and surrounding states. Maylena Olsen, now 15, is among more than 500 patients who already travel regularly from Nebraska to be seen at the Minneapolis hospital. She has a rare genetic condition that causes skeletal malformations and other problems.

Mother and daughter participated in a demonstration of the telehealth technology last week from Minneapolis before getting on the road back to Lincoln.

This entry was posted in Healthcare, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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