South Central MN looking to expand use of Telepresence during pandemic and beyond

I’m pleased to share South Central Minnesota’s report issued reflecting use of telepresence by the Human Services Departments of Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Freeborn, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Rice, Sibley, and Watonwan Counties. Like many communities, they are innovating to meet the challenges of the pandemic but they are looking beyond that too…

The DHS/MNIT owned-and-operated telepresence network provides secure, encrypted, HIPAA compliant connections to over 6,000 users – which include Minnesota tribal nations, counties, law enforcement, courts, schools, mental health providers, other human service agencies, and those they serve.

The South-Central Community Based Initiative (SCCBI), an Adult Mental Health Initiative for the counties listed above, has found DHS/MNIT’s easy-to-use, cost effective, and expandable telepresence network to be highly successful at improving access to services.  Maintaining this network is critical to our ability to serve people.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in the counties above [Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Freeborn, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Rice, Sibley, and Watonwan Counties] agreed to expand access to the existing project beyond mental health services, so we could safely serve the public in other program areas.  Using the DHS/MNIT network, we quickly added telepresence users to serve people easily through their home computer or smartphone.

Download the full report.

This entry was posted in BCBP, Blandin Foundation, 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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