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Henrico school launches 'first of many’ telehealth clinics to help kids

Posted at 4:15 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 19:09:55-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — If a child at Glen Lea Elementary School in Henrico County is sick or injured, they go see Nurse Jones.

Now, the personal care Jones provides students will go beyond the school's Austin Ave. campus.

Henrico Schools opened the region’s first Telehealth clinic on Tuesday. It is located inside the East End school.

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“It’s a huge deal,” Adrienne Cole Johnson, Henrico Schools Chief of Family and Community Engagement, said. “This project has been in the works since 2017.”

The clinic looks just like a doctor’s office with an examination table and medical instruments plus a camera.

“A lot of time just having to go to the doctor, having medical appointments can get in the way of attendance,” Cole Johnson stated. “We are hopeful that this will help curb attendance.”

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Henrico Schools partnered with the Henrico Education Foundation, VCU School of Dentistry, and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHOR).

“Kids learn best when they don't have to deal with other stresses like getting out of school to go to the doctors,” CHOR vice chair of research Dr. Henry Rozycki said.

Dr. Rozycki signed onto the project early to bring professional outside medical, dental, and mental health resources inside the school.

A parent is also able to sign onto the call as well so the child wouldn’t be forced to miss out on classes for an extended period of time.

“Glen Lea Elementary School was chosen as the pilot program for a Telehealth Clinic that would provide services: medical, dental, and mental support for students and their families. Offering this program would be one of the four pillars of the Full-Service Community Schools model; Integrated student support,” according to project plans.

Rozycki hoped the clinic will become the model for future sites inside schools across the country.

“I think the nearest one is in North Carolina, so we are really trailblazing with this effort,” Cole Johnson stated. “Hopefully this won’t be the last of central community efforts of this sort.”

Click here for additional information and some answers to frequently asked questions about Glen Lea Elementary School’s NEW Medical & Dental Service program.