#1StudentNWI: Crown Point’s Charlotte Annes helps seniors access telehealth

#1StudentNWI: Crown Point’s Charlotte Annes helps seniors access telehealth

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students struggled to find the motivation to do anything more than just lay in bed and watch Netflix. However, Crown Point High School sophomore, Charlotte Annes, found a unique volunteer opportunity in the medical field that could help those in need around the Region. 

“I am interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, and during the pandemic, I was searching for a volunteer opportunity that was in the field. I found TeleHealth Access for Seniors online,” said Annes. 

TeleHealth Access for Seniors is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide seniors with technology to communicate with their physicians and family members through a remote technology platform. Annes became involved with TeleHealth Access for Seniors because of the unique delivery of healthcare and health education to seniors who struggle with safe access to healthcare due to the pandemic.

“Their mission was the reason I decided to join since a simple doctor's visit could make seniors sick. The connection of telehealth allows them to contact their doctors without fear of exposure,” said Annes. 

The non-profit’s mission is one that she believes in because of the effect it has had on her own community. This makes the job that Annes has done with the organization feel very rewarding. 

“I really enjoyed doing this because it is a great feeling to see that you have made an impact in the community and have helped others,” said Annes.

Annes currently serves as the lead representative for the State of Indiana, which means she spearheads all the projects and fundraising they receive. In this capacity, she runs a monthly Zoom meeting for all the Indiana volunteers to find local clinics and businesses with whom to partner. By collaborating with business leaders, Annes is able to receive funding for the devices for the cause. 

“We connect seniors to telemedicine by collecting used devices and monetary donations that can also be used to purchase more devices,” Annes said. 

By following TeleHealth Access for Senior’s mission, Annes has already donated numerous devices to healthcare facilities around Northwest Indiana. These donations were all made possible by the grants she received from nonprofits like the Crown Point Community Foundation. The impact she has already made has been very impressive. 

“Some of the most memorable donations I have made in Indiana include 13 brand-new tablets to the Crown Point VA Outpatient Clinic. This was made possible due to the generous grant of $1,000 dollars from the Crown Point Community Foundation,” said Annes. 

TeleHealth Access for Seniors has granted over 3,000 devices and over $100,000 nationally. As the pandemic continues, Annes hopes that she and the other volunteers from the state of Indiana will be able to expand to additional areas of the state with added volunteers and increased statewide business connections. 

“With more volunteers around the state of Indiana, we would be able to expand the amount of seniors that we are helping and spread as an organization,” said Annes. 

The work that Annes is doing has heightened her interest in majoring in neurology in college and working in the medical field. Through the donations she has made, she has been able to meet physicians that utilize telehealth. This made all the hard work she had done worth it since she could see the technology in use. 

“Experiencing the feeling of helping others is truly amazing, and this has increased my interest in pursuing a career in medicine,” said Annes.

Annes is part of Crown Point High School’s gymnastics team, science olympiad, debate, and the Code Red club. Being involved in Code Red has allowed her to talk to physicians about their jobs and their work in the field. She plans to use her connection to the high school to raise more awareness of the TeleHealth Access for Seniors' cause.

“I plan on reaching out to the student council and National Honor Society to see if they are interested in doing a fundraiser. I also plan to network with other students at the high school to see if they are interested in becoming a volunteer,” said Annes. 

Annes said that her experience with the organization has allowed her to see the change that hard work can make in the lives of others, and she hopes it will keep expanding and helping as many seniors as possible. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in donating to TeleHealth Access for Seniors cause, go to their website, which is https://www.telehealthforseniors.org/