MUSC Health operates its School-Based Health Program in 23 schools across the district so students can receive health care in school. Services include sick visits, chronic disease management, diagnosis and management of ADHD, sports physicals and specialized mental health services.
An MUSC Health nurse practitioner or doctor examines the students with the assistance of the school nurse or medical assistant. Computers and monitors on a mobile cart are used so that patients and providers can see each other, and special equipment, such as electronic stethoscopes or cameras to look inside a child’s ears, is sometimes used.
“Our school nurses are keenly aware that many of our families struggle with access to health care for a number of reasons,” said Melissa Prendergast, director of nursing services for the Charleston County School District, in a news release. “Transportation is one of the major barriers to this access. The School-Based Health Program removes this barrier and provides easy, timely access to care for our students.”
The collaboration between Charleston County School District and MUSC include the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, a nonprofit focused on improving education for low-income students, and Meeting Street Schools, which provide support to select schools. The School-Based Health Program is supported in part by the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance.