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Rural telehealth expands to northeast Indiana schools

FREMONT, Ind. (Inside Indiana Business): A growing number of Indiana schools are adding rural telehealth connectivity, the latest being Fremont Community Schools in the northeast corner of the state.

The high-tech system allows school nurses or staff with a sick child to connect remotely with a physician or other medical provider.

The health care provider will use secure, high-tech and high-resolution diagnostics – such as an electronic otoscope or digital stethoscope – to digitally view ears, eyes, and throat as needed.

“Given that many of our students come from rural areas of Steuben County, this new clinic means that parents will not have to leave work or drive to the school to pick their child up for a routine exam,” said William Stitt, Fremont Schools superintendent.

Fremont is the first school corporation in Steuben County to add the technology. It has partnered with Cameron Medical Group to provide this level of healthcare. The new telehealth clinic is in the high school but is available to any student in the system. Earlier this week, schools in Eastern Greene county unveiled the same technology.

The clinic represents an expansion of high-tech services established through a relationship with the Indiana Rural School Clinic Network. At least 20 rural school corporations have installed the telehealth technology since 2017.

“Our goal is to provide high-quality healthcare quickly and remove any barriers to accessing primary care,” said Kathleen Chelminiak, project director of IRSCN and a member of the Indiana Rural Health Association.

The new school-based telehealth clinic is funded through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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