Grant helps Forsyth students access care quickly

Forsyth School District Telehealth Navigator Susan Goller.

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In the past, if a child started feeling sick at school, the student could wait hours before getting needed medicine. They may have to wait to be picked up by a parent, travel to an urgent care or clinic and then wait to be seen. Now, Forsyth students with a sore throat, cough, flu or other ailments can be seen by a licensed provider in about 20 minutes without ever leaving school.

In late 2022, Skaggs Foundation awarded Forsyth School District a $32,000 Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant to fund a telemedicine office. The grant covers the salary of an employee to run the telehealth program as well as the necessary equipment, supplies and scholarships to help cover the cost of the visits.

“It’s a wonderful convenience,” explains Susan Goller, the school’s telehealth navigator. “It is nice that a student can be seen, and if needed, get a prescription right away.”

Goller, who spent 21 years as a classroom teacher, is equipped to take the student’s height, weight, pulse, oxygen and other vital information. If needed, she can even do a rapid strep test. She explained that if a prescription is needed, it’s called in to a local pharmacy before the student ever even leaves school.

She’s also had a few teachers who have taken advantage of the school’s telehealth clinic. It’s not only convenient for the teachers, but it can eliminate the need for the teacher to leave school to be seen and for the district to pay a substitute teacher to fill in while the teacher is away.

In addition to helping students and staff access care quickly, the telemedicine clinic provides an opportunity for students to receive virtual speech therapy sessions.

Skaggs Legacy Endowment was established in 2013 and since that time, Skaggs Foundation has awarded more than $8.3 million to organizations working to improve health and wellness throughout Stone and Taney counties. To learn more, visit SkaggsFoundation.org.

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