John Fortney, PhD
Dr. Fortney was trained as a geographer, with an emphasis on spatial economics and econometrics. As a post doctoral fellow, he became the second geographer ever to receive research funding from NIMH. Throughout his career, Dr. Fortney’s research has focused on identifying and overcoming barriers to mental health care for rural populations. Dr. Fortney has used geographic information systems (GIS) to measure travel times to services and to determine the impact of geographical accessibility on utilization and quality. He has also evaluated the impact of opening new VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics in rural areas on veterans’ access and service utilization. More recently, Dr. Fortney has begun developing and disseminating telemedicine-based interventions to improve care for rural primary care patients. Specifically, Dr. Fortney has been using telemedicine technologies (telephones, interactive video, electronic medical records, web-based decision support systems) to help provide team-based collaborative care within a virtual clinical environment, where patients, physicians, therapists, and care mangers are separated from one another by distance.