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News Release: Access Physicians CMO Appointed to Governor’s Broadband Development Council

Jan. 10, 2020 (Dallas, Texas) — Governor Greg Abbott today appointed Saurin Patel, MD, chief medical officer at Access Physicians, a physician-led telemedicine company, to the Governor’s Broadband Development Council. The council’s goal is to expand access to broadband internet to underserved or rural areas of Texas. One of its tasks is to analyze how statewide access to broadband would benefit the delivery of health care services, including telemedicine.

Dr. Patel will serve through August 2024.

“I’m honored to be appointed to the council to bring to the forefront the needs, challenges and opportunities facing rural health care in Texas,” said Patel. “I’ve seen firsthand the power of telemedicine to be the difference between life and death for rural patients and how collaborative partnerships between rural hospitals and our telemedicine operation can mean the difference between closure and remaining open to meet the health care needs of local residents.”

Access Physicians works with rural hospitals across the country to build and sustain high-quality telemedicine programs, such as telecardiology, telepsychiatry and teleneurology, so that rural patients have the same level of access and care as urban residents. The company has also received exclusive endorsements, including being the first telemedicine company to be endorsed by a hospital association. The Texas Hospital Association, the second largest in the country representing 8 percent of U.S. hospitals, named Access Physicians as an endorsed partner for telemedicine needs in 2019, followed by the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals.

Dr. Patel is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a practicing hospitalist. He completed his Internal Medicine residency training at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he subsequently joined as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Patel earned his Doctor of Medicine from UT Southwestern, and his BBA in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

The Governor’s Broadband Development Council was created by House Bill 1960, 86th Texas Legislature.