FHC Wants To Provide Telemedicine Service To Bamberg 2 Schools

DENMARK — The chief executive officer of Family Health Centers Inc. talked to the Bamberg School District 2 Board of Trustees and administrators about incorporating the center's telemedicine program into the school system on Feb. 5.

Leon Brunson said students would be able to receive medical assistance without missing school. His remarks came during the school board's regular meeting.

"Parents will also have the opportunity to be a part of the treatment process", Brunson said.

If district approves incorporating the telemedicine program, staff for the program will be in place by Feb. 27, he said. School nurses will be given a manual on how to operate equipment in addition to receiving training, Brunson said. He said the district's schools would receive between $15-$17 from Medicaid for each student who is treated. Students who do not receive Medicaid may still receive free medical assistance, Brunson said. However, the schools will not receive any funds for those students, he noted. Students with other insurance and non-insured students can also receive medical treatment through the program, he said.

"Consent forms will have to be signed by the parents," Brunson said.

Nurses will be trained the week of April 9, he said, Brunson adding that Aug. 13 would be the "go live" date for the program.

Behavioral health is a component of medical treatment in the telemedicine program, he said.

"We will be available to assist with suicide prevention," he added.

Brunson said adult medical providers will be on hand to treat staff. Students will be seen by a pediatrician, he said.

Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner said the school currently has Medical University of South Carolina equipment, noting that she wanted to be assured the State Department of Education would be okay with Family Health Centers Inc. using the equipment.

Brunson said it was just a matter of making the request through MUSC and getting the proper documents completed.

Mentioning the success of Richland One School District's telemedicine program, Brunson said Family Health Centers Inc. is using the same consultants.

"We will be using some nurse practitioners, but the doctors will be the only ones who can prescribe medicine. (School) nurses will be responsible for taking vital signs and inputting information into the computer," he said.

In other business:

  • Sojourner reported that the final drawings for the new Denmark-Olar school facilities to house grades Pre-K-8, along with construction of a new district office, maintenance buildings and stadium and renovation of the current high school, have been submitted to USDA for review. Construction is set to begin April 1.
  • The trustees discussed the school calendar revision as a result of the earlier inclement winter weather. Graduation is currently scheduled for June 8.
  • The board approved a field trip for the Peer Educators to the Isle of Palms March 15-18.
  • Trustees approved a senior class trip to Florida April 26-29.
  • The board recognized students Kristen Pickens, Keonah Walker and Shakerria Johnson for completing the Certified Nursing Assistant program and becoming certified CNAs.
  • The trustees recognized Sophia Gardner, an international Denmark-Olar Elementary teacher, as Teacher of the Month.
  • Recognized as Students of the Month for their respective schools were" Devin Hammonds, D-O Elementary; Lakia Coleman, D-O Middle and Jessie Collins, D-O High.