I’m Meg Sterchi, LCSW, ACSW, the co-founder and executive director of Adoptions of Indiana. I’m a 1988 MSW graduate of Indiana University’s School of Social Work and a 1982 BA graduate of Purdue University’s School of Liberal Arts with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. I will say that I’m a Boilermaker through and through. I had the honor of receiving the US Congressional Coalition on Adoption’s 2013 Angel in Adoption award.
Adoptions of Indiana was founded in 1995 as a licensed child-placing agency providing social services throughout the State of Indiana. We seek to identify and meet the needs of adoptees and birth and adoptive families through compassionate and comprehensive adoption services.
We provide adoption options counseling to women throughout the state who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and want information and support. Our services are offered at no cost and we travel to meet them. For women choosing to pursue an adoption plan, our services continue as long as they wish to remain involved and never at any cost to them. We strive to develop genuine and honest rapport with our clients so they know they have support.
What is your background? Specialty? How long have you been practicing? Where is your primary location?
All of the clinical staff of Adoptions of Indiana are licensed social workers. We specialize in women and children’s issues, especially adoption. Adoptions of Indiana has provided services to expectant women and birth and adoptive families for more than 20 years. Adoptions of Indiana was founded to provide adoptive home studies and pre/post placement counseling support to women considering adoptive placement. In 2012 AOI started offering placement services to our clients in order to offer a higher quality of care.
We are located just north of Indianapolis, Indiana, but we serve the entire State of Indiana and have a heart for serving families.
How long have you been practicing telemedicine?
Adoptions of Indiana has been considering telemedicine for the last year and has been researching ethics, licensing and best practices. We now believe we are prepared to offer this service for our clients so that they will be able to access our services easier.
While we prefer to meet with families in person, there are times and circumstances that do not allow it. Indiana winters can be extreme, situations arise on a moment’s notice where having the ability to connect with them via HIPPA approved video conferencing would be incredibly helpful. Also, many of our clients live in rural areas and have limited or no transportation--but they do have a phone. We are just now entering telemedicine.
What motivated you to start practicing telemedicine?
Our motivation comes from a desire to make it easy for our clients to connect with us on their terms. Transportation is an issue and many of our client’s lives are chaotic. If they can easily access us it will be a benefit to them. Also, this generation of women are more comfortable using technology and therefore open to using telemedicine.
Have you had experience with any other telemedicine companies? What made you go with doxy.me?
After reading many reviews and discussing what elements are necessary for AOI we believed Doxy.me was the best choice for us. Doxy.me has set a standard in the field and offers telemedicine for mobile phone connections. All of our clients have access to low cost phones but most do not have tablets or actual computers. Doxy.me’s reviews reported that the services they offer on mobile phones is very good.
How has telemedicine changed your practice?
We’re hoping that telemedicine offers us another avenue to continue to provide our clients the highest quality services and helps us connect in a way that is comfortable with our clients.
What advice would you give to other healthcare providers interested in starting telemedicine?
Make sure you understand NASW code of ethics on telemedicine and work to develop a program that meets ethical and best practice standards.
You can connect with Adoptions of Indiana here.