Keeping More Kids Healthy and Ready to Learn

“The purpose of telemedicine is to keep students in the classroom and return them to the classroom as soon as possible,” said Kerrie Wagaman, HCPSS coordinator of health services. “Therefore their attendance is higher, and they’re getting more time in the education environment.”

HCPSS’ school-based telemedicine program, offered in six elementary schools, complements and expands existing school health services through technology that connects a child in school to a health care provider and his/her guardian in separate locations.

Parents miss less work time by calling into the virtual exams, and children miss less classroom instruction time by getting quick care directly in the school setting. Last school year, 97 percent of students returned to class after their telemedicine visit, compared to 75 percent prior to the program.

Telemedicine embodies HCPSS’ holistic approach to student well-being, family engagement and community collaboration. The telemedicine program is offered in partnership with the Howard County Health Department, Howard County General Hospital and community practices. HCPSS is one of the first telemedicine programs in the state to partner with community pediatric practices, enabling continuity of care by increasing students’ access to their primary care provider. Telemedicine also supports students without health insurance or a medical provider.

The school-based telemedicine program is funded through general Howard County funds and HCPSS. The partnership continues to expand wellness offerings, including the health department’s piloting of a mental health service model in three schools starting this fall.

Learn more about telemedicine in Howard County public schools →

Or watch a video on the school-based wellness centers →