BCSC telehealth ribbon cutting

Cutting the ribbon for Batesville schools at Batesville Primary School July 31 are Batesville Community School Corp. health services director Gayla Vonderheide and school nurse Laurie Krieg. Among other participants were superintendent Paul Ketcham, Batesville Primary School principal Brad Stoneking and Margaret Mary Health President Tim Putnam.

With the addition of new school-based telehealth services, students in both the Batesville and Milan community school corporations now benefit from convenient access to health care services without leaving school, reports MMH marketing coordinator Becky Walter.

Telehealth uses technology to enable Margaret Mary Health providers to deliver care using special cameras, telehealth equipment and speakers.

Both school corporations are supported by MMH, with funding from the Indiana Rural Health Association, CareSource the Margaret Mary Health Foundation and Ripley County Community Foundation. Last year, the telehealth program was also implemented in the South Ripley Community School Corp.

“Together with our partners, we can fundamentally change the way children access health providers while at school,” said Steve Smitherman, CareSource president of the Indiana market. “Improving access to care is one of CareSource’s top priorities, and we are proud to support this innovative program.”

With assistance from a school nurse, MMH’s providers are able to use the telehealth technology to diagnose and treat minor injuries and acute illnesses, including strep throat, earaches, rashes, pink eye, colds and the flu. Parental consent must be obtained in advance, and fees are billed directly to insurance.

“We appreciate the Batesville and Milan school corporations for putting trust in us to deliver this innovative program to the community,” said Margaret Mary Health President Tim Putnam. “Telehealth services provide students direct access to health care while eliminating common barriers to care like transportation or scheduling problems. Ultimately, this should lead to less sick days and improved health for students.”

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