'TeleNeuroSpine' program connects NH patients with doctors thousands of miles away
BERLIN — A new telemedical program is connecting spinal care patients in New Hampshire's North Country with some of the best care in the world — despite the fact that 4,000 miles lie between the patients and doctors.
Catholic Medical Center, with the help of Thomas Kleeman, MD of the N.H. NeuroSpine Institute, announced the launch of their TeleNeuroSpine program at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin Thursday. The program will allow Dr. Kleeman, a respected orthopaedic and spine surgeon and founder of the N.H. NeuroSpine Institute in Bedford, to see patients at Androscoggin Valley Hospital from his new office in Alaska using a secure video connection.
“Innovative medical technology isn’t limited to the operating room,” Kleeman said. “Thanks to telemedicine, we’re able to maintain patient relationships regardless of location and deliver expert care no matter where a physician happens to be at a given moment.”
Kleeman said he will still travel to New Hampshire on a regular basis to perform surgery and see patients.
“Dr. Kleeman is a true innovator in his field, and we’re pleased that he is continuing to pioneer with us,” Joseph Pepe, MD, President & CEO of Catholic Medical Center, said. “Thanks to telemedicine, geography is no longer a barrier – for patients or physicians – in providing care.”
North Country patients will be able to schedule office visits with Dr. Kleeman from Catholic Medical Center offices at Androscoggin Valley Hospital. In addition to having local consultation, patients will also be able to remain in their community for related lab work, radiology, selected pain interventions, physical therapy, and follow up visits.
“We are excited to offer this service to our patients as part of our commitment to increasing access to high-quality care,” Keith Shute, MD, MMM, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Androscoggin Valley Hospital, said. “People know and trust Dr. Kleeman. It’s a tremendous asset for our patients – many of whom are suffering from severe back pain – to be able to ‘see’ him without having to travel out of the area for that level of expert care.”
Dr. Kleeman built a successful practice in Bedford and served multiple roles at Catholic Medical Center where he was President of the Medical Staff and served on the Board of Directors. He and his wife, Anne, relocated to Alaska earlier this year, but he maintains his involvement at the N.H. NeuroSpine Institute, as well as his credentials to practice medicine in the Granite state.