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With the addition of Shakamak, Greene County leads the state with telehealth program

Greene County students can now see a doctor without leaving school. MSD of Shakamak is one of the most recent school corporations to adopt this resource.

Posted: Feb 10, 2020 5:18 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2020 10:14 AM

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Greene County is leading the way for telehealth in the state. 

Students who are enrolled in a public school district in the county can now see a doctor without leaving school.

Telehealth services are available through the Greene County General Hospital.

MSD of Shakamak is one of the most recent school corporations to adopt this resource.

School nurse Valerie Husband says this program is improving access to healthcare for students.

"Parents may not have transportation to take their child to see the doctor,” Husband told News 10. “Or they may not be able to afford to miss work to take their child to the doctor, so they can see a doctor through this Tytocare app, and we can receive a diagnosis."

Students can meet virtually with a pediatrician or nurse practitioner. The school nurse contacts the parents for consent prior to the appointment.

"They will kind of tell you what they want you to examine,” Husband described. “You are actually their eyes and ears and hands. You're doing the exam for them, but they are actually the ones diagnosing what they're seeing."

Racheall Lengacher is the director of rural clinics for the Greene County General Hospital.

She says access to healthcare is a challenge in a rural community. 

"There's equipment attached so we can listen to the heart and lungs, take a close look at the throat, even a rash, and the physician can diagnosis the student virtually,” Lengacher said.

A student's insurance is billed similarly to a visit to one of the My Clinic locations. 

Health experts say this is a win for all.

"It means better access to care, so it kind of bridges that gap,” Husband said.

A grant from the Indiana Rural Health Association helped launch the telehealth program.

The program is available free of cost to all schools in the county.

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