Watch the story of Amanda and Witt and learn about their SchoolMed experience at Tanglewood Elementary School.
AUSTIN and FORT WORTH, Texas, August 18, 2022 — When Amanda Wolsey’s son returned to Tanglewood Elementary School following a two-day absence for a stomach bug, she asked the teacher to keep her updated on his condition throughout the day. Around noon, Amanda received a text that her son had gone to see the school nurse.
“When Nurse [Taylor] Cavazos called, and said that his throat felt scratchy, that was new to me because I assumed it was his tummy,” said Amanda, a mom of four school-aged children.
Amanda’s son was registered for SchoolMed, and Nurse Cavazos initiated a telehealth visit with a Goodside Health provider right from the school clinic. Within a few minutes, her son had his symptoms evaluated and received a point-of-care test for strep throat, which came back positive.
Equipped with a diagnosis, plan of care, and prescription picked up from the local pharmacy, Amanda had everything she needed to get her son on the pathway back to health by the time she picked him up from school.
“It would have been 24 hours from the time I picked him up to the time I got him to the doctor. That would have been a delay in starting treatment by 24 hours, so that would have been another day tacked onto an absence,” said Amanda.
“To get to skip all of that and have the diagnosis and medication and [be] on our way to health right there was priceless.”
The Wolsey’s experience was precisely what the team at Goodside Health had in mind when it established the innovative SchoolMed program. It’s also the experience that Fort Worth ISD was in search of when it selected Goodside Health and SchoolMed as its school-based healthcare partner in August 2020.
“We started out having those conversations and learning about the program,” said Ottis Goodwin, FWISD Director of Family and Community Resources. “We developed a plan on how to roll it [SchoolMed] out with campuses and nurses that wanted to start with it.”
An innovator and early SchoolMed adopter, Fort Worth ISD was searching for a comprehensive healthcare partner to improve health equity and access to care for its more than 76,000 students across 140 campuses.
The program would start with on-demand telehealth, the foundational SchoolMed service that integrates virtual visits with a licensed provider into the school health room. Together, Goodside Health and Forth Worth ISD identified an initial 20 campuses to implement SchoolMed, eventually expanding to more than 40 campuses by the end of the 2021/22 school year.
“There have been lots of needs that we’ve had over the years where Goodside has stepped in. Whether that was sports physicals, going out to campuses, doing different things, all the education they do for the nurses, “added Goodwin. “It’s been a good partnership, more than what we thought.”
This year, Fort Worth ISD will operate SchoolMed in as many as 80 of its campuses with additional services also provided across its Family Resource Centers.
“Caring for the health of their students is embedded in the fabric of health services within Fort Worth ISD,” said Matt Balthazar, Goodside Health Senior Vice President of Operations. “We’re honored that SchoolMed is a part of that fabric. Their leadership and investment in student health services and desire to increase access to care for all their students continues to make for a strong partnership.”
Thanks to the phased approach championed by Goodside Health and SchoolMed partners like Fort Worth ISD, school districts are implementing SchoolMed with intention, expanding access to care and empowering academic achievement by increasing time in the classroom.
About Goodside Health
Goodside Health is advancing the delivery of pediatric care by partnering with communities to provide access to physical health, mental health, and telehealth services at school, at home, and in the clinic. Relentless advocates for expanding access to care and promoting health equity, Goodside Health leverages a Whole-Child Approach to care and lives our mission of closing gaps in children’s healthcare through innovation and execution. To learn more about Goodside Health, please visit www.goodsidehealth.com.