We were contacted by a school district in Southeast Missouri that had a school clinic in one of its building that had a nurse practitioner on-site. They began services during the 2019-20 school year, but were disrupted by the district shutting down during COVID, and then having limited services this year. As they begin planning for the 2021-22 school year, they were interested in using some federal funds they had received to remodel their school clinics to purchase needed telehealth equipment. They asked for technical assistance on developing a list of needed items and protocols for beginning telehealth services.
The HTRC had an individual consultation with the school district’s head of nursing to discuss these items and to direct them to needed resources (including TTAC and the Missouri School-Based Health Alliance).
The district participated in the joint HTRC/University of Missouri ECHO series related to school health, where a hospital system in southwest Missouri (Cox Health System) discussed their use of telehealth in school clinics. An HTRC staff member, Robert Stiles, had assisted this district when they began school services in 2018, beginning with the provision of telebehavioral health services in the district.
We have had two additional Zoom meetings with the district as they work through their request to HRSA through the prior approval process to change their budget and other documentation to reflect the change to telehealth from in-person medical services in the district. The HTRC has offered their services through the eStart to assist this district and their FQHC partner in transitioning to telehealth services for optimal success in the coming school year.
This school district had initial success with school telehealth, but due to the COVID interruption in learning and uncertainties during the 2020-21 school year, was facing the end of its school clinic services without technical assistance in developing a plan to purchase equipment needed to begin providing school medical services through telehealth. The district now feels prepared to begin the school year using telehealth and has confidence in the success of their efforts (and in their ability to seek additional TA from the HTRC as needed).