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Press Release

Congressman Tonko Announces Telehealth Funding for Ellis

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Funding will help local medical providers deliver critical services to patients remotely


SCHENECTADY, NY—Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has awarded Ellis Hospital in Schenectady funding totaling $131,261 intended for remote diagnosis, monitoring and other telehealth equipment to treat patients with COVID-19 infection. Previously, Rep. Tonko sent a letter of support to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on behalf of Ellis Hospital requesting consideration of their application for this funding.

“This crisis has highlighted telemedicine as an invaluable resource, allowing patients to access treatment quickly, safely and effectively. Yet, so many across our Capital Region and nation continue to face enduring difficulties accessing these vital services,” Congressman Tonko said. “I am grateful that the FCC is addressing the needs of Upstate New Yorkers by providing this funding, so that our health care providers can deliver the telehealth services necessary to help patients stay safe and well. Congratulations to Ellis Hospital on this well-deserved award that will better equip our medical professionals to protect their patients and our communities throughout this pandemic.”

“This funding will have a direct and very real impact on making healthcare more accessible to the people of upstate New York,” said Avinash Bachwani, MD, Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer & Chief Physician Executive at Ellis Medicine. “COVID-19 accelerated the need for a robust telemedicine platform as patients in quarantine require a safe way to access care from their homes, which ultimately limits the spread of the virus. Going forward, we know that patients can’t always get to the office; this award will allow us to take a big step forward to reaching them when they can’t reach us in person. This is a big win for the health of our community and we thank Congressman Tonko for his leadership and support.” 

Rep. Tonko has long fought for improved broadband access across New York State and the nation. In May, he sent a letter to Chairman Pai detailing the agency’s systemic failure to support New York residents without broadband internet access. The letter contained testimonial from parents, teachers, students and business owners across the Capital Region struggling without access.

Tonko also joined in introducing the House Democratic Plan to Connect All Americans to Affordable Broadband Internet for the Coronavirus stimulus response, an updated version of the broadband provisions of House Democrats’ Moving America Forward Framework.

Today’s round of funding marks the eighth provided through the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The program, authorized by the CARES Act, has approved funding for 185 health care providers across 38 states as well as Washington, D.C. for a total of more than $68 million in funding.

Ellis Medicine | Newsroom

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Media inquiries should be directed to the Communications Department at Ellis Medicine. The Communications Department is open and staffed Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The department can be reached by phone at 518.232.9288. If you leave a message your call will typically be returned within 24 hours.

All official communications regarding Ellis Medicine are arranged through the Communications Department. We look forward to working with members of the public and media organizations to provide accurate, up-to-date information about Ellis Medicine.


Ellis Medicine
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308