FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: George Sells
Director of Marketing &
August 11, 2022
SLPS Introduces Hazel Health On-Line Health Services for All Students
Providing in-school access to medical care for all students
St. Louis, MO -- Studies show that more than fifty percent of families in the United States do not have a family physician. Adding to that challenge, over the past two years, Covid 19 has exposed even more gaps in healthcare access which can be an issue for many families in Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS).
In efforts to close those gaps in services in school year 2022-2023, the District is introducing telehealth care services free of charge to all students through Hazel Health, Inc. With parental permission, all District students, regardless of insurance, will have access to pediatricians and physician assistants who will conduct exams (approximately 10 mins.), diagnose illnesses and prescribe over-the-counter medications all from the school nurses’ office! Students for whom English is a second language will also receive translation services.
The District hosted a successful soft launch of the program at the recent SLPS/Urban League Back-to-School Expo at Americas Center. Once school starts, parents will sign up at their home schools and via the district website. The parental permission form is also linked here. (Parents may visit the school site to retrieve hard copies of the permission form.)
Director of Student Support Services Dr. Michael Brown explained, “This is a major move toward making healthcare accessible to our students and at no cost to families.” He added, “Insurance is not required to receive services but, Brown says, “Insurance information will be collected, and insured families may see an explanation of benefits from their insurer, but the uninsured or underinsured will always receive care with Hazel.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kelvin Adams says, the roll out of the Hazel Health program will be implemented in increments, over the course of three weeks, until all schools and all 19,500 students are assured coverage. “We are excited to bring healthcare services to our students and parents, many of whom struggle to get the proper care for a variety of reasons including work schedules, lack of insurance or lack of transportation. This is an important addition to our services to families and to maintaining healthy, safe school environments in the midst of Covid 19 recovery.”
According to Hazel Health Chief Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles, the online program is not a replacement for regular visits to a physician, but it will help when students become ill at school or when parents need reassurance while waiting for a doctor’s appointment. “We start by creating relationships and building trust and confidence among school staff and parents. Our consultations provide more immediate diagnoses and treatment (over-the-counter medications) and protect instructional time by reducing the number of school days missed.”
At the time of initial sign up, Gayles emphasized, the Hazel Health team will ask for insurance information (if available), a signed permission form for a child to receive services (if under age 18), and a HIPPA privacy form. After that, “Every visit will be easy, and students will be able to receive immediate medical attention.”
Dr. Adams said, “In today’s climate, immediate access to healthcare lifts a significant burden from parents and caregivers and helps ensure the overall health of school communities.”
The Hazel Health, Inc., program at SLPS is managed by Director of Health Mrs. Shanetta Harrington and the District’s Department of Student Support Services. For more information, please see www.slps.org/back2school. You may also ask your school leaders or school nurses for details.