Public school students in Prince George’s County, Maryland will soon have access to telehealth care providers at no cost to them or their families.
Beginning in October, students can see a doctor, get a prescription or speak to a therapist through Hazel Health, the nation’s largest children’s telehealth provider.
“We want our children…to be healthy and successful academically, so in order to do that, we need to provide these services to our children,” said Dr. Traci Jones, health services specialist for children. Prince George’s County Public Schools.
Free services will be available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“If a child is having a mental health crisis, parents can go online as long as they have a phone, laptop, tablet, any means of internet access that has a camera, they can access to Hazel, said Jones.
The school system will begin using Hazel in 63 schools in October, starting in middle schools, academies and high schools. Once the program launches, the service will expand to elementary schools. Therapeutic telehealth services will begin in early November, officials said.
Hazel will provide over-the-counter pain relievers and other prescription medications for students with common headaches and sore throats. Providers can also diagnose and write prescriptions.
Dr. Travis Gayles, the former health officer for Montgomery County, Maryland, now works for Hazel Health.
“We have seen over 90% of children return to class within a short period of time. This reduces wasted time in class, which can influence academic performance,” Gayles said.
Gayles said it would also help parents who don’t have health insurance or can’t take time off work to take their child to a doctor.
Parents will need to sign a consent form to enroll their children.
Hazel provides access to care for more than two million students nationwide.
The program is funded by a $4 million federal grant obtained by the Prince George’s County Health Department.
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