The Blandin Foundation recently published an inclusive assessment of the last cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities. Including a segment on Aitkin County…
Aitkin County invested most of its first round of IRBC grant funds on improving broadband access in this very poorly served county. These investments included upgrading satellite internet service to Long Lake Conservation Center, acquiring library mobile hotspots for check out, installing Wi-Fi on buses, and equipping public meeting centers with internet, computers and other technology tools.
The public meeting centers established with round one funding have seen considerable use, so with the second grant round the Aitkin BBC team is investing in additional technology upgrades for those centers. They have continued their focus on public access by funding the establishment of a Wi-Fi hotspot at the Jacobson Community Center, the first public hotspot in the town. The team also has invested in a fiber connection build to Long Lake Conservation Center, finally bringing to the environmental learning center the future proof technology solution it needs to support program delivery across its large and wooded campus.
Lastly, the county is working with Riverwood Healthcare Center to increase MyChart usage amongst patients and caregivers to improve patient outcomes and give them a greater feeling of ownership over their health and treatment options.