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Scenic Bluffs receives grant for Community Telecommunications

 

December 31, 2019



A grant from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin helps Scenic Bluffs purchase telecommunications equipment for community conference rooms.

(Cashton, WIS.)- The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin awarded Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers more than $18,000 to expand community access to telecommunications equipment. This award provided funding towards the purchase of two Microsoft Surface Hubs available for community use in Scenic Bluffs’ conference rooms. The addition of the Surface Hubs improves community access to online educational programs, services, and group communications with partner organizations or public resources.

Scenic Bluffs has three conference rooms available for use by community organizations and businesses at no charge. The addition of the Microsoft Surface Hubs gives community groups the flexibility of using technology to arrange and complete meetings in a rural setting such a Cashton, where weather and transportation issues cause barriers to meeting access. The purchase of the Microsoft Surface Hubs replaces Scenic Bluffs’ more than 15-year-old Polycom equipment, which did not support current technology needs, such as video conferencing and internet services that can be used for multiple platforms.

Microsoft Surface Hub is an interactive whiteboard designed to bridge the distance between remote teams and onsite meeting participants. It features note taking and writing capabilities, video conferencing, and is wireless to ensure meeting participants have unique needs met. The Microsoft Surface Hubs also include programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which allows user to write directly on the screen.

The Public Service Commission’s Access Program or Project by Nonprofit Groups is a grant program under the Universal Service Fund that enables non-profit groups to apply for partial funding of programs or projects that will facilitate affordable access to telecommunications. The Commission can award up to $500,000 in grants under this program on a fiscal year basis. The Public Service Commission’s Universal Service Fund was established under the 1993 Wisconsin Act 496 to ensure that all state residents receive essential telecommunication services and have access to advanced telecommunication capabilities. Universal Service Fund programs created by the Public Service Commission have been developed to address telecommunication needs for low-income customers, high rate areas of the state, customers with disabilities, non-profit groups and medical clinics and public health agencies.

Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers is a non-profit, community-based primary healthcare provider, caring for Western Wisconsin. Serving La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon and Crawford Counties, Scenic Bluffs provides primary medical, dental, chiropractic, behavioral health, massage therapy, acupuncture and pharmacy services for patients in the region. Scenic Bluffs has Health Centers in both Cashton and Norwalk, dental services in Viroqua and behavioral health services in Sparta.

For more information on Scenic Bluffs’ community conference space, or to reserve a conference space, call Scenic Bluffs at 608-654-5100. For more information, visit Scenic Bluffs online at http://www.scenicbluffs.org.

 

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