by Bridget Ortigo from The Marshall News Messenger
Click here for the original story on The Marshall News Messenger
MARSHALL, Texas — Going to the doctor just got a little bit easier for Marshall ISD students and staff who might be feeling a little under the weather.
Starting this school year, the district teamed up with Goodside Health to open a Telehealth Services facility on the campus of Marshall High School, beside the Athletic Department building on Maverick Drive.
Students and district staff members can now register and schedule appointments with the Telehealth Services facility and receive treatment without ever leaving the district.
“We were working with Goodside Health last school year for COVID-19 testing on campus and then we began to ask the question, ‘Why just test for COVID-19?’” Marshall ISD Health Services Director and Registered Nurse Jennifer Peters said Thursday. “By bringing them in here to see a provider, we can go ahead and give them basic medications and begin to alleviate their symptoms, and the provider can then send in prescriptions to their preferred pharmacy.”
The services accept health insurances, including Medicaid, and for those students or staff who are not insured, self-pay options are available at a reduced cost. Often, Peters said, patients with insurance pay no copay and those without insurance pay a reduced copay of $20 to $50.
Students who visit the campus nurse’s office at any of the district’s campuses can notify their parent or guardian who is over the age of 18 and register for an appointment with the Telehealth Services by visiting www.marshallisd.com/telehealth.
Peters said often times, patients can receive appointments that day or the very next day.
“Most pediatricians around here only see sick patients in the afternoons because they have their well visits in the morning hours, so that leaves parents a short window of time, from about 1 to 4 p.m., to get their child into the doctor, whereas here, we can often get them in that day or the very next day,” Peters said. “The faster we treat the student, the faster we get them back in school learning, and we can also reduce unexcused absences this way too because we communicate with the campus nurses.”
Peters said the Telehealth Services facility can test for flu, COVID-19 and strep throat, and treat other conditions such as pink eye, head lice, fever, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, menstrual cramps, headache, rash, abdominal pain and minor cuts or wounds.
“Anything requiring lab work or x-rays we don’t treat here, but our providers can treat a wide range of issues,” Peters said.
Once the student or staff member visits the website, they will register, enter their insurance information, identification and request an appointment and pay their copay. Once the appointment is scheduled, they will receive an email confirmation with instructions of where to go.
Minor-age students must be accompanied by a parent or parent-approved guardian over the age of 18 when arriving for their appointment. Once the patient arrives at the facility, they will be checked in to one of the two exam rooms on site by medical assistant Nitica Jenkins, who will take the patient’s vitals, temperature and weight. Then an iPad will be placed in front of the patient for them to visit with the Telehealth Services provider. The provider might ask Jenkins to conduct testing on the patient or direct her to administer medication. Once the appointment is completed, the provider will call in a prescription if needed.
“This service allows us to get students and staff seen, treated and on the road to recovery much faster,” Peters said.
In the first month of school, from Aug. 16-31, Jenkins said the Telehealth Services saw more than 60 patients.
To learn more about the Telehealth Services or to make an appointment, visit the website at www.marshallisd.com/telehealth.