Behavioral healthcare for students and staff is now part of Shawnee Public Schools telemedicine services available through the TEAM Clinics partnership, Dr. April Grace, superintendent, has announced.

Now in its second year of working with SPS to offer non-emergency telemedicine healthcare to the school community, TEAM Clinics has expanded its services to include behavioral health care after requests from parents, Trevor Nutt, TEAM Clinics CEO, said. The goal is to minimize the amount of time students have to miss school for health appointments, he said.

"Some students were missing a full day of school and traveling out of town for a less-than-30-minute health visit. By using TEAM Clinics, the students can now visit a provider without leaving school and missing classes all day," said La Rita Haffey, district nurse health coordinator. 

The TEAM Clinics partnership with SPS began in August 2018. In its first year, the amount of goods and services TEAM Clinics donated to the school district is worth more than $12,000, Nutt said. He and TEAM Clinics Chief Medical Officer Kevin Penwell, D.O., presented a check to Grace and Haffey to represent that amount during a recent meeting to update the progress of the partnership. Also at the meeting, Nutt explained some of the changes and benefits of the partnership:

The telemedicine clinics began in four sites district wide. Now the clinics are in seven sites. Only Jim Thorpe Academy does not have its own site-based clinic, but JTA's students and staff use the clinic at Shawnee High School instead due to its close proximity.

Shawnee Public Schools was the first district to partner with TEAM Clinics in Oklahoma, but now seven more districts or sites in the state have followed Shawnee's lead.

Only 10 total students and staff members were sent home due to illness after visiting a TEAM Clinics healthcare provider in the first year, thus ensuring that more students and staff were not missing school unnecessarily. So far this school year only two patients have been sent home from school following a TEAM Clinics exam.

The TEAM Clinics telemedicine service allows health care providers to virtually examine students and staff members with the help of the on-site school nurse or health aide and with specialized examination equipment. Parents of students are able to attend the examination either in person or virtually through TEAM Clinics' mobile app. TEAM Clinics bills the patient's insurance directly, so no money changes hands during the telemedicine visits.

For more information on the behavioral health or other services offered through TEAM Clinics, contact Haffey at 405-273-6885 or larhaffey@shawnee.k12.ok.us. Registration information is available at www.shawnee.k12.ok.us under Nurse’s Corner.