Janet Major, associate director for innovation and digital health at the Arizona Telemedicine Program, based at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, was recently honored as an American Telemedicine Association Fellow during the ATA annual meeting in March.
Major, who has been with the Arizona Telemedicine Program since its inception in 1996, has been active with the ATA for almost three decades, during which time she established several key special interest groups that elevated national and regional conversations, access and learning around telemedicine.
“I am honored to join my peers and fellow champions in telemedicine as an ATA Fellow,” Major said. “This celebrates my lifelong career in telemedicine with the network of experts in ATA that I have had the privilege and honor of working with for over 25 years.”
Major was nominated by Arizona Telemedicine Program Interim Director Kristine Erps Stewart, who read the call for nominations and quickly recognized that Major deserved to be honored as an ATA Fellow.
“The Arizona Telemedicine Program has been a member of the American Telemedicine Association from the start. Our executive team was encouraged to get involved and Janet took that encouragement and started working behind the scenes and in leadership roles with the ATA and throughout Arizona,” Stewart said.
Major has established telemedicine projects that eliminate barriers unique to the Southwest, especially in rural, frontier and tribal communities. Beginning in the late 1990s, she provided training for low bandwidth video conferencing technology that utilized a single wired phoneline for connectivity to Navajo Area Chapter Houses. This demonstrated the power of the technology to make it possible for people to access health care and remain in their own communities as much as possible.
“Janet is a dedicated educator and advocate of telemedicine, broadband and the use of technologies to improve patient care via telehealth,” said Elizabeth A. Krupinski, PhD, director of the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center and a past ATA Fellow. “She regularly meets with providers and healthcare organizations around Arizona to spread the word about telemedicine benefits and help them build and grow their programs.”
Digital health navigation has been an important part of Major’s work since 2000 while she partnered with Indian Health Service Community Health Representatives, as well as regional promotora groups – community members trained in health education.
“Public places for private conversations about our health is an important part of our future and our health, and it’s a topic I have always been passionate about as a technology and videoconferencing expert,” Major said.
Each year the ATA recognizes members of distinction as new ATA Fellows. Election to the American Telemedicine Association College of Fellows recognizes significant achievements in telemedicine, service to the general telemedicine community and service to the ATA.