Tessa A. Eidelman F'21

Tessa A. Eidelman

Leading Edge Fellowships 2021
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Appointed to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for the project "Internet Access as a Health Imperative: Defining the Health Outcomes and Cost Savings of Broadband Networks in Unconnected Communities"
PhD, Community Research and Action, Vanderbilt University

Founded in 1974, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and technical assistance organization that constructs the foundation and frame upon which communities can take charge of their local resources, their economies, and their environmental future. ILSR is currently undertaking research alongside the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (SRBWI) to explore the cost savings and positive health outcomes for communities resulting from the installation of fiber networks in rural areas for a constellation of promising telemedicine interventions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, asthma, and cancer. The Leading Edge Fellow will join, continue, and expand upon this foundational work with a focus on both urban areas and rural population centers along with ILSR’s broadband team and our network of allies—including rural municipal broadband networks, groups like the SRBWI, the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)—who are deeply invested in arguing for infrastructure investment to tackle existing social and racial justice inequities.