School-based telehealth — a wellness innovation

Stories behind vital movements tend to be overlooked — that’s why it’s our mission to tell them. It’s also why we felt a sense of urgency in partnering with School-Based Telehealth Learning Collaborative, an organization leading the school-based telehealth movement in the Carolinas and beyond — a collaboration that has the potential to transform outcomes for public schools and families.

School-based telehealth is an innovative initiative that brings outstanding health care into schools. Staffed by a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), clinics are fully equipped with the technology to facilitate a virtual appointment with both a medical practitioner and the child’s parent. 

In Guilford County, an effort to place telehealth clinics inside 51 targeted high poverty elementary schools is well underway, thanks to Cone Health and the Collaborative.

To give the Collaborative a public online presence, Tigermoth conducted a discovery, wrote messaging, and designed a website that tells the story of their work, the impact it’s having, and the people coming together to make it happen

Traditionally, when a student falls ill during the day, a parent has to come pick them up. The parent misses work, and they miss a day of learning. This can lead to chronic absenteeism in students and lost wages for parents who work hourly jobs. Furthermore, their family might not have access to adequate health care once they’re out of the school’s doors. 

Introduce telehealth. Now, a variety of minor ailments can be treated from inside the school. With a video conference call between the parent and a doctor, the student can be checked and treatment administered seamlessly. The parent can get back to work and the student can return to learning. 

Take Kaleesi Greene, a fourth grader at Bessemer Elementary School. Kaleesi suffers from Hashimoto’s disease, chronic migraines and asthma. Before school-based telehealth was introduced into her school, every time her symptoms flared, Kaleesi missed a day of instruction, and her mother missed a day of work or caregiving for her elderly mother. 

Now, Kaleesi can go to her school’s telehealth clinic and be connected directly to a pediatric care provider. An attendant can administer Kaleesi’s required medication, and she can return to class, increasing her instructional time and offering her another shot at the day.

And we want Kaleesi in school. A bright, energetic, focused student, she’ll do great things with the right support.

Abigail Leow is a former Tigermoth Creative intern who has somehow found herself across the pond in Brighton, UK, but couldn’t quite leave Tigermoth life behind. Now providing part-time copywriting support to the team and working full-time as a Content & Marketing Executive at BrightLocal, Abigail spends her (limited) free time baking, gaming, and exploring the local baked-goods scene.