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Students in the Grady County School System feeling under the weather will soon have expanded access to healthcare without leaving school.
Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard announced this week that an expanded Telemedicine School Health Program is being offered here. Initially, the service will be offered at Cairo High School and Washington Middle School, but will be expanded to all seven schools soon.
Through this e-health network, school nurses at C.H.S. and W.M.S. are able to consult with a network of providers associated with the G.P.T. Network. This same network is used in other Georgia school districts and in multiple states. Local physicians are part of the network and are participating, including Cairo Medical Care. The school superintendent says that other local providers are also contemplating their participation.
Parents and guardians who are interested in utilizing this service are required to complete a consent packet included in the Telehealth Enrollment Packet.
“Through this service, a child can be ’seen’ by a healthcare professional without having to leave school. Acute complaints such as sore throat, ear ache, cough, congestion, skin infections or rashes are examples of issues the G.P.T. Network can deal with without a child having to leave school. Our primary goal is helping students maintain good health, but at the same time reducing absenteeism,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Once a student is evaluated by the G.P.T. Network, parents and guardians will be provided instructions for follow-up care and prescriptions for required medicines will be issued to the pharmacy used by parents and guardians.
According to Dr. Gilliard, these Telemedicine services are not free. Parents’ and guardians’ insurance or Medicaid will be billed for students’ care and consultation. The parents and guardians will be responsible for co-pays and other financial obligations.
Dr. Gilliard also points out that students can continue to see a school nurse even if they opt not to participate in the Telemedicine program.
Each of the seven schools has been equipped to provide school nurses contact with healthcare providers. The equipment was purchased with a combination of grant funds and local tax money, according to Dr. Gilliard.
Anyone seeking additional information on this innovative program is asked to contact Director of Social Services Dr. Katina Cooper with Grady County Schools at (229) 377-3701.