FEBRUARY 11, 2004

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Center for Telemedicine and Web-based Distance Learning now operating at Southwestern Oklahoma State University

A Center for Telemedicine and Web-based Distance Learning is now operating at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

Dr. Harpal Dhillon is director of the center, which allows SWOSU to participate in selected high technology projects.

SWOSU President John Hays said the center is stimulated by the need for SWOSU to create an infrastructure that facilitates the acquisition of research and development projects. The center also provides opportunities for SWOSU students to work with technologies that are part of the current economic growth in the United States.

Hays said the CTWDL will help prepare SWOSU graduates for employment in two very attractive information technology driven service areas, namely telemedicine and Internet-based distance learning.

The CTWDL is housed in the College of Professional and Graduate Studies at SWOSU. Dr. Ken Rose, dean of the college, said the center was formed based on activities the past 12 months with INTEGRIS Health Systems.

A joint INTEGRIS-SWOSU telemedicine project is underway at two sites of the SWOSU Youth Adventure Program. Two joint INEGRIS-SWOSU proposals for research and development grants have been submitted so far.

"Faculty members with expertise in telemedicine, robotics and web-based learning are working here, and it is just logical for SWOSU to give them the support for undertaking academic programs and research/development activities," Rose said.

SWOSU Provost Bet Becker said the center is a natural progression.

"Southwestern has operated a distance learning program based on technology that is suitable for our constituents in rural Oklahoma," Becker said. "SWOSU now plans to make its academic programs available anytime-anywhere by offering them on-line through the Internet."

Becker is enthusiastic about the telemedicine program. SWOSU’s School of Nursing and School of Allied Health, both with good academic reputations, will work with a progressive School of Computer Science and Technology to hopefully become a center of excellence in telemedicine.

Contact: Brian Adler, 1-580-774-3063
Additional information available by calling Dhillon 1-580-774-3201