MONROE – The Monroe Public School District is better equipped to combat illness this cold and flu season after getting five new kiosks that feature cutting-edge tele-health technology.
The kiosks are supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Monroe County in partnership with ProMedica.
With this new system, an elementary student who is not feeling well can see a trained staff member and access a district school nurse or health liaison via a tele-health kiosk.
“We are very appreciative of our partnership with ProMedica and the Community Foundation of Monroe County,” said Bob Nichols, president of the MPS Board of Education. “This innovative program offered to our students is exciting and will help remove barriers for students and family access to appropriate medical care and helps to keep our kids in school learning. We look forward to continuing to offer this service to our families and hopefully expand them in the future.”
Chronic absenteeism (missing more than 10 percent of school) can affect a student’s academic performance. MPS noted that their rate for chronic absenteeism was increasing in 2017, especially in their elementary schools. District leaders say a contributing factor to the increase can be the lack of accessible medical care, especially during the cold and flu season.
“Now, with this technology, the health liaison can review a child’s symptoms, collaborate with a school nurse and the child’s health plan on file,” said Julie Everly, MPS superintendent. “Then the remote team can determine if the child needs to be monitored outside of the school environment to ensure proper care or send them to class if they are deemed healthy. So, the student doesn’t miss out on learning and the parent won’t miss out on work.”
MPS was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Monroe County in partnership with ProMedica last spring, with the goal of using a tele-health clinic to help reduce absenteeism and improve overall health at Arborwood Elementary. After concluding there was more budget to implement the tele-health system, CFMC and ProMedica supported the purchase of five kiosks for each MPS elementary school to sync to the clinic software at Arborwood.
With the additional technology, district leaders anticipate a significant dip in absenteeism this winter across the elementary schools.
“Tele-health has enabled the district health team to work together to keep our kids healthy,” said Scott Hoppert, principal of Raisinville Elementary. “Tele-health benefits parents because it enables us to give a more comprehensive idea of what could be affecting their child, allowing them to seek the outside help that they need. The students are intrigued, and think that the tele-health system is cool—it leads to a lot of wonderings about the tools.”
For more information about the Monroe Public School’s tele-health clinic and kiosks, visit: https://www.monroe.k12.mi.us/.