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Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program

The Iowa Rural Health Telecommunications Program (IRHTP) is a joint effort of a consortium of 85 Iowa rural and urban hospitals, two South Dakota hospitals, one Nebraska hospital, the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) and the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). The program's purpose is to connect willing Iowa hospitals to a dedicated broadband fiber network using the ICN infrastructure.

In May 2007, IHA submitted the IRHTP proposal on behalf of Iowa hospitals to the Federal Communications Commission. The proposal was to provide last-mile fiber connections for members of the consortium by linking them to the closest appropriate ICN Point of Presence with one gigabit of ethernet electronics.

IHA is responsible for the general project administration and management. This includes:

  • Meeting logistics for the IRHTP board of directors.
  • Project coordination for the IRHTP.
    • Management of the administrative aspects of the approved network.
    • Complete and submit program forms and supporting documentation.
    • Universal Service Administrative Company payment management.
    • Primary point of contact for the IRHTP.
    • Communication of requests and requirements to participating entities.
    • Administrative project documentation.
    • Maintenance of project files
    • Audit preparation.

For more information, contact Corey Martin at IHA, 515-283-9309. For billing and invoicing questions, contact Cindy Schultz at IHA. 


As of Jan. 31, 2019:

  • The IRHTP board meeting was held Jan. 30, 2019. Board members approved new board members, the 2018 financials and the 2019 budget. Board members also received a report from the ICN on the equipment refresh project and Cerner connection possibilities.
  • Two new members, Kent Sona and Scott O’Farrell, were approved to the IRHTP board. They are welcome additions with their IT backgrounds and connections to Iowa hospitals.
  • Expense reimbursements have been approved by USAC and the ICN. Final processing is taking place and facilities should receive their reimbursement payments in 2-4 weeks.
  • The equipment refresh project has moved beyond the design phase and will begin swapping out circuits at facilities starting in late February.
  • A small workgroup met to discuss the needs of the IRHTP network to connect with Cerner. The request has been given to ICN and options will be reviewed in February 2019.
  • PEmail Corey Martin to be added to the quarterly IRHTP newsletter if you are not already on the mailing list.

Board members

  • Brian Sims, Chief Executive Officer, Lucas County Health Center
  • Kent Sona, Chief Information Officer, Nebraska Methodist Health System
  • Scott O’Farrell, Vice President, IT Technical Services, Avera Health
  • Lee Carmen, VP of Information Services, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Jeff Cash, Senior VP and CIO, Mercy Medical Center – Cedar Rapids
  • Fred Eastman, Telehealth Technology Manager, MercyOne
  • Robert Frieden, VP of Info Services and CIO, Genesis Health System
  • Veronica Fuhs, Chief Executive Officer, Monroe and Davis County Hospitals and Clinics
  • Matt Sells, Chief Executive Officer, Shenandoah Medical Center
  • Daryl Bouma, Chief Technology Officer, Sanford Health
  • Roger Wilson, Interim Site Director, IT, MercyOne
  • Gary Davis, VP of IT, Iowa Hospital Association