2021 SC Telehealth Pioneer Award


Congratulations to Michael Lyons, MD, Director of Clinical Services at the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), who has been named the 2021 Telehealth Pioneer by Palmetto Care Connections. The award was presented at the organization’s 9th Annual Telehealth Summit of South Carolina on November 10. The statewide award recognizes an individual champion in the areas of clinical care, education, or policy who implemented a telehealth program.

Fueled by a shortage of clinical genetics providers, Dr. Lyons developed GGC’s telehealth program in 2016 with the goal of improving patient access to genetics services. He has graciously shared his experience and enthusiasm for telemedicine with his genetics colleagues throughout the southeastern U.S. through workshops and presentations for SERN, providing best practices and invaluable advice for other programs who were looking to improve their clinic workflows.

Dr. Lyons is a crucial part of the SERN’s Telemedicine Working Group, providing input regarding the development of telemedicine resources for providers, including a webliography and information on telehealth policy, billing, and other important administrative and logistical issues. He has also contributed to the discussions to promote patient informational materials, including videos and fact sheets to educate families on telemedicine as a useful option for managing their care.

In addition to developing a clinical care program, Dr. Lyons has led research efforts regarding telemedicine in genetics to assess patient satisfaction and the effectiveness of making a genetic diagnosis virtually as compared to in person.  Such data is critical to the adoption of telemedicine by the broader community, and he willingly collaborates with SERN by contributing his data to inform federal agencies on the impact of telemedicine in the region.

Additionally, Dr. Lyons is the principal investigator on a GGC grant from The Duke Endowment to expand the use of telehealth into eConsults and eVisits, allowing for asynchronous provider consultations and patient care using novel technological platforms.