A new telehealth clinic will make medical services more accessible for elementary and middle school students in the Eastern Greene [County] School District.

A ribbon-cutting and demonstration took place Monday for My Virtual Clinic, a service of Greene County General Hospital and located at Eastern Greene Elementary school. It will provide extended medical services through secure diagnostic equipment.

The service will be available to the more than 1,300 students attending the Eastern Greene elementary and middle schools, which are on the same campus, said Sharon Abts, principal of Eastern Greene Elementary.

In addition to the services of Debbie Babcock, school district nurse, Eastern Greene students can be seen by medical professionals without a time-consuming trip to the hospital during the day.

Eastern Greene schools are located in a highly rural area between the towns of Solsberry and Cincinnati, Indiana; not having to require parents to come to the school during the day represents a significant advantage, Abts said.

The clinic is made possible through a partnership with the Indiana Rural Schools Clinic Network (IRSCN), which has been working with Greene County area schools to develop a county-wide telehealth clinic network, said Kathleen Chelminiak, IRSCN project director.

The clinic is funded through a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant made available to the Indiana Rural Health Association.

Abts was on hand with other education and state officials Monday to officially open the telehealth clinic. Others taking part in the ribbon cutting included Brenda Reetz, CEO of the Greene County General Hospital; Babcock, school corporation nurse; and Chelminiak, project director for IRSCN and the Indiana Rural Health Association, and others.

The Eastern Greene School students will now be able to see a doctor or medical provider through secure video-conferencing. The clinic uses a digital stethoscope and other technology tools to help a provider make a diagnosis. School nurses and related staff have received several hours of training on how to use the equipment.

The medical professional conducting the telehealth diagnostic session can directly send follow-up information to the children’s physician and prescriptions directly to local pharmacies for pickup. To participate, children must have prior parent/guardian consent.

Any fees are appropriately billed to insurance. No student will be denied coverage or treatment because of lack of ability to pay.
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