Telehealth services in place in Fremont Community Schools

The telehealth clinic at Fremont High School is the first one in Northern Indiana.

Posted: Oct 7, 2019 3:15 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2019 11:37 AM

FREMONT, Ind. (WFFT) - Fremont Community Schools is a district of about 1,000 students, but by the end of the 2018-2019 school year, they had more than 8,000 visits to the nurse's office.

Superintendent Dr. William Stitt says in a rural community like Fremont, some students who need to then go see a doctor, can't.

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Stitt explained, "We know that some of our kids don't have the opportunity to go to the doctors, to see physicians."

Now Fremont High and Elementary students have access to a pediatrician and family physician through Cameron Memorial Community Hospital via a telehealth clinic.

The only reason the middle school doesn't yet have the program is because the High school and Elementary school are connected.

Thanks to a grant from the Indiana Rural Health Association, students can have their ears and throats looked at via a camera, heartbeat and breathing listened to by an electronic stethoscope, and pictures of irregular rashes assessed, all done securely so no information is misplaced.

CMCH CIO Scott Hirschy says there isn't a whole lot different between telehealth and seeing someone in person.

"The only difference is they can't put their hands on the patient. Other than that, the diagnostics that are used are the same as at the disposal that they would have in their clinic space," Hirschy said.

Now when students see corporation nurse Connie Sweeney, parents may not have to worry about leaving work to pick up their kid.

"Usually, I'm the one that determines they need to go home for something for a certain reason, or give a phone call to the parent and say hey I think johnny needs to have this looked at. I think he could stay in school, but I would make an appointment in the next day or two," Sweeney said. "So, in that conversation, we'll decide maybe they'll want to use the telehealth instead."

That's the big draw for everyone involved, keeping kids in school.

"That was something that really intrigued us is that we want our kids to be in class," Stitt said.

If you want to learn more about the service at Fremont High School, click here.

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