Hazel Health services has partnered with Garland ISD campuses and provided access to free non-emergency medical care for schools or at home.
The services offered will be available throughout the 2020-21 school year, and once parents have registered through the parent portal, they will have access to an immediate pediatric team. Along with the medical care, parents can find current healthcare topics to ensure health and safety of students.
“It’s been wonderful. The demographics in our campus in North Garland is I think a large part of the population has no medical care, and they offer this free of charge,” Ethridge Elementary School Nurse Kathryn Shreves said. “That makes a big plus for our kiddos.”
Hazel Health services first reached out to GISD Director of Health Services Renee Kotsopoulos before the pilot program was implemented last fall. Once the services were available, Garland ISD was able to use these free resources. During the pandemic, Hazel Health wanted to have these resources available to improve access to medical care.
“If kids do exhibit symptoms of COVID on the school campus, obviously we’re going to increase screenings in the mornings to keep them off the campus if they do show symptoms,” Shreves said. “If they do present during the day time, we are sending them to isolation and sending them home.”
Since being partnered with Hazel Health, Garland ISD has offered medical care to hopefully help students get back into their classes and limiting how many days of school are missed. In most cases when students had a non-emergency medical need, nurses had to send them home based on symptoms.
“It did so well when they rolled it out to all of our campuses this year,” Shreves said. “I think that if anything would need the service going forward, especially during the pandemic, I'm hoping and thinking it will stay at least for the foreseeable future.”
Ask a Doctor is one of the services offered where parents can learn about current health discussions and ask Hazel Health’s pediatric team any questions. It is a weekly session that has provided parents and students with information regarding COVID-19 and how to be safe during flu season. Ask a Doctor will also hold a session over health non-screen activities during COVID-19 on Tuesday.
“The goal of that is obviously not to interfere with their learning and to keep them at school and make them feel better,” Shreves said. “Oftentimes, I'm sending them home anyway if they have a fever, but if we can give them Tylenol or ibuprofen we can at least give them some relief while waiting for mom and dad. So it helps in many ways in that regard.”
For more information, parents can go to hazel.co/garland to find what resources and healthcare resources will be provided. Parents and families have been able to easily access the website and register.
“I'm hoping that gets made up for in the home setting with the families keeping children home while they're sick,” Shreves said. “I'm grateful to hazel for expanding this and making it accessible to the families at home.”