Genesee Valley Launches School-Based Telemedicine and Telepsychiatry Program

Link To Original Article at Wellsville Daily Reporter

BELMONT — Beginning this fall, Mobile Telemed of Buffalo will provide students, faculty, and staff medical and mental health services at Genesee Valley Central School. The partnership is part of the District’s Full Service Community Schools initiative that includes school-based health services that aren’t available or easily accessible in the district.

Mobile Telemed will offer two programs; Telemedicine and Telepsychiatry. The Telemedicine unit will be located in a private exam room in the school where trained school nurses use Bluetooth technology and medical instruments to transmit a student’s vital statistics and symptoms to the Mobile Telemed doctor. Nurses can examine a patient’s ears, nose, throat, and listen to their heart and lungs. Rashes and skin abnormalities can be detected with a dermascope and a heart rate can be measured with an electrocardiogram (EKG). Rapid strep tests, flu swabs, and urine analysis can also be done in the school-based program.

Mobile TeleMed has established cutting-edge technology that offers immediate access to more than 35 medical providers in areas of family medicine, cardiology, dermatology, nutrition, pharmacy, geriatric care, and more.

“Mobile Telemed is excited to partner with GVCS on this initiative. Our ability to connect students to medical providers, at the time they need it, will allow students better access to medical care and more efficient treatment of medical issues which will help them either remain in school or begin treatment for a quicker return to the classroom,” said Brian Przybysz, Vice President of Business Development at Mobile Telemed.

“Our providers can order lab tests, prescribe medications and work with the school nursing staff to provide high quality healthcare all as a compliment to their current medical provider. Our Telepsych services will bring much needed care in the ever growing field of mental health,” stated Przybysz.

The school-based program will not replace local medical and mental health resources, but will enhance existing capabilities and bring access to healthcare services where students and staff spend the majority of their time. The project is designed to help residents of Allegany County get services where many barriers are in the way, especially transportation, time and access to providers.

Psychiatry services will be led by Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr. Aimee DiPasqua M.D. School-Based telepsychiatry reduces parents’ work leave, decreases children’s absences from school, and increases their attendance at psychiatry appointments, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Mobile TeleMed is providing GVCS students a lifeline to rural mental health care. The initial consultation will be held in a private room at the school where the student, parent, and Dr. DiPasqua design a treatment plan. Comprehensive services could include a psychiatry, medication management, and therapy. Remote services will continue thereafter.

The school-based health services concept began with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2017 to develop an onsite dental program and improve overall health awareness through a partnership with the Allegany County Department of Health. Reallocated funds from that project provided the needed seed money to launch the medical and psychiatric program under Mobile Telemed.

“The teachers and administrators at Genesee Valley Central School District have long recognized the needs of our students and community beyond the academic instruction we were designed to provide,” said District Superintendent Dr. Brian Schmitt.

“We have been thoughtful and vigilant about putting programming in place that would support our students and families to help them succeed. Healthcare services are an integral piece to enable overall health and academic success. We have the capacity as a Full Service Community School to facilitate that need. We are looking forward to seeing the difference it makes,” concluded Schmitt.

Parents or legal guardians must complete an enrollment packet for their child to receive services during school hours through this project. All major insurance plans are accepted by Mobile Telemed. Parents are responsible for insurance copays, prescriptions, lab work, and x-rays. For more information about the Telehealth program, contact Genesee Valley School’s Wellness Director, Anne Campbell at (585) 268-7900 or acampbell@genvalley.org.