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A new collaborative partnership has recently formed to help facilitate the development of a strong telehealth effort between CVC and CENIC and to provide enhanced telehealth infrastructure and technology resources to support health teaching and learning for California’s colleges and the communities they serve.

California Virtual Campus (CVC) and The California Distance Learning Health Network (CDLHN) have agreed to a joint effort to explore the benefits of cooperation in developing infrastucture and information resources designed to support health e-learning efforts.

The CVC mission to support the California Community Colleges (CCC) in their efforts to address the continuing growth of online education, as well as other compatible e-learning and distance education learning modalities through pilot projects, development of new statewide services, infrastructure and professional development programs was expanded last year through SB 1437 to include support for joint telehealth and telemedicine efforts with the Corporation for Education Network Iniatives in California (CENIC).

“Given CDLHN’s long track record of successful statewide health initiatives, it made a lot of sense to partner with them in developing programmatic resources and to use a partnership approach to jump-start a broader intersegmental effort between CSU and CCC in this critical area,” said Doug Cremer, Executive Director for the CVC and CCC Technology Center–two technology programs housed at Butte College.

The CDLHN is a project housed under the umbrella of the San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSURF), a 501.c.3 nonprofit corporation. The mission of the CDLHN is to produce, promote, and provide onsite training on healthcare and other related issues throughout California, the nation, and around the world; to foster collaboration between health organizations and distance learning educators; and to increase access to the most advanced communication technologies available in the world today.

“CDLHN and CVC are committed to actively support one another,” said Violet Macias-Reynolds, CDHLN Executive Director. “Although our script for success is challenged by these critical economic times, investing in building key relationships among leaders and having an organizational mindset will support our greater vision to deliver our goals.”

The partnership between the CDLHN and the CVC will focus on developing a telehealth and telemedicine program to expand and explore ways that health education can be delivered via distance learning.

The project goals also include a focus on issues that affect the K-20 community such as stressors in the current economic climate, emergency pandemic education and developing and using advanced technology, such as online simulations and high-definition video broadcast, to meet the varying distance education needs of California’s diverse student population.

This partnership, which began in 2009 and will continue into 2010, marks a current trend in education as universities and community colleges pool their resources to address common issues within the educational system.

“In times of crises, we become more efficient and creative, uniting the strength of our programs to a greater outcome,” Macias-Reynolds said.

The CDLHN has worked with the California Community Colleges system in the past, having had a ten year relationship with 3C Media Solutions (formerly CCCSAT). 3C Media Solutions is an educational media distribution network based at Palomar College in San Marcos, California and grant-funded through the CCC Chancellor’s Office.

The first fruit from the new partnership looks to be an extension of this collaboration to include Edustream (Dr. Glen Kuck and San Bernardino CCD) working with CDLHN, with Edustream serving as the main distribution channel for fully indexed and accessible CDLHN health-education library archive of video content. As currently envisioned, Edustream will host and distribute existing CDLHN's current video content repository as well as future-developed content, delivering the content in a fully accessible and searchable way, while Dallas TeleLearning will provide promotional services.

The new collaboration also includes CENIC and the K-20 California Educational Technology Collaborative (K20CETC). CENIC designs, implements, and operates CalREN, the California Research and Education Network, a high-bandwidth, high-capacity Internet network to which the vast majority of the state's K-20 educational institutions are connected. The K20CETC brings together California K-20 education leaders to support highly effective, innovative, network-enabled teaching and learning opportunities. <>

Sandoval Chagoya is a CCC Technology Center project manager
and TechEDge managing editor.