December 6, 2016

Adventures In Wellness – Getting Well with Telehealth

In this recurring blog series, Karen allows us to follow along on her journey toward better health. She has set her mind to losing weight and getting fit, and to help her reach those goals, she is tapping into a number of resources Mission Health has to offer. 

By Karen Vernon

A few months ago, despite all my best efforts to Be Well and Stay Well, I found myself sorely in need of a Get Well kind of consultation.

Some kind of upper respiratory bug took up residence in my throat and chest, and while I didn’t feel all that badly, I sounded horrible. A bout of laryngitis gave way to fits of coughing that just wouldn’t stop, and at the urging of my colleagues (bless them!) I made a call to Mission’s WorkWell staff health program.

As usual for me, I’d waited until I was really in need of care, so I eagerly jumped at the first appointment they offered me, and at the location most convenient to my workplace. “This will be a telehealth visit,” the scheduler noted, making sure I was okay with that.

I was more than okay with it; having heard about the telehealth option, I was eager to try it. Unfortunately, I had to get sick in order to do that!

The whole experience was not just easy and convenient. For me, it was fascinating. The medical assistant, Patricia, checked me in, recorded my vitals and a brief reason for my visit, and then led me to the exam room where a large monitor was mounted on the wall. Within just a few minutes, the nurse practitioner was ready to get started, and she appeared on the screen for a larger than life, face-to-face conversation.

Patricia served as the go-between for the visit. She wielded the stethoscope, otoscope and other diagnostic tools on our end, transmitting the sights and sounds to the NP at her remote location. Bonus round – this was the first physical in which I was able to actually see, via a second monitor mounted near the larger one, what the provider saw when she looked inside my ears. Yes, it was gross, but also strangely enlightening!

Karen Vernon HeadshotIn less than 30 minutes, I had a diagnosis and my prescriptions were transmitted to the also conveniently located pharmacy. And it had all happened in a high tech setting that still kept the personal touch, leaving me a very satisfied patient.

Within a few days, the prescriptions were doing the trick and I was on the mend. I won’t hesitate to opt for telehealth the next time I need care, and I’ll readily recommend it to my friends. It made getting well as easy as it could possibly be.

Click here for previous entries in the Adventures in Wellness blog series.

To learn more about the Healthy Weight Program, visit, or call (828) 213-4740. For information on the CarePartners/Mission Fitness Center, contact Valerie Moore at or (828) 213-0861. For questions about personal training services, contact Mikey Landreth at (478) 550-2424 or

Karen Vernon is a Senior Communication Consultant for Mission Health, and has enjoyed a three-decade career in not-for-profit governance and leadership, human resources and communications. Away from work, she dreams of writing a wildly successful novel and embarking on a world tour (with entourage). Meanwhile, she’s the ringmaster for a three-ring circus that includes two teenage daughters and a twenty-something son, two dogs, two cats, and a somewhat younger and much more fit husband, who, really, she is just trying to keep up with.

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