Students and staff at Rising Sun Schools can now benefit from innovative high-tech telehealth as part of the Indiana Rural School Clinic Network’s (IRSCN) expansion to the region.
A power outage on Friday put a damper on a demonstration of the new technology at the Ohio County Elementary Middle School but did not dampen the enthusiasm for the new program.
“To be able to leverage state-of-the-art digital medical diagnostic technology on behalf of our students and staff represents a new dimension of service,” said Branden Roeder, Superintendent of the Rising Sun-Ohio County Community School Corporation. “This secure telehealth technology provides for an exceptional match with the excellent medical resources at Highpoint Health and Highpoint Health Physician Partners, presenting students and parents with a variety of important benefits. We are also extremely pleased that Family Medicine Physician Dr. Chris Walcott of Highpoint Health Rising Sun Family Medicine has agreed to be the medical provider for the program.”
Dr. Walcott has had several visits from students and staff in the opening month of operation. “It’s almost as good as one on one.
It has worked out very well. It’s a wonderful thing being from this community and having my kids go to this school.”
He explained that, with two working parents, it becomes a question of who takes off and that results in a loss of income.
“It’s really cool when it works. However, you have to have electricity,” Walcott joked as he showed off some of the equipment used with school nurse Jamie Works.
Dr. Walcott can send follow-up information to the child’s personal physician and with prior parental approval, prescriptions to the student’s pharmacy.
Funding for the clinic grant was provided through a larger Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant made available to the Indiana Rural Health Association and is now part of the Indiana Rural Schools Clinic Network (IRSCN).
To participate, students must have prior parental/guardian consent. Provider fees will be billed to the student’s insurance company.
Kathleen Chelminiak, Indiana Rural Health Association Project Director, noted that Rising Sun is the eighth school to use the technology since 2016. It had the quickest launch to date (four months). “It’s great for the community and Indiana in the future,” she added.