OKCPS, OU Health Partner For School-Based Telehealth Program

Friday, November 4th 2022, 9:10 pm


A new telehealth program within Oklahoma City Public Schools is helping students stay in the classroom. 

Before this program, sick students would go to the nurse and then get picked up by their parents to see a doctor. Now, they can be seen online by a doctor at OU Health within minutes. 

“They aren’t just going home and laying on the couch watching tv waiting to feel better,” said Kathy Cruz a Registered Nurse with OKCPS. 

“Excellence equals attendance and being able to have those potential sick issues addressed at school and then if you do need to go home that a physician and a school nurse are making that decision that it is time to go home,” said Jennifer Schultz with OU Health. 

The partnership with OKCPS and OU Health is keeping kids in school and healthy. They said COVID-19 put into perspective the needs of students and families. 

“Especially coming out of COVID, really telehealth became the center piece of our conversation,” said Schultz. 

Kathy Cruz has been a school nurse for seven years and said for many students she is their only access to healthcare. 

“The majority of the time the school nurse is really the only healthcare connection that they have so we can give them guidance, resources,” said Cruz. 

“The actual billing arrangement would be between the student and OU Health. It is something that whether you have insurance or not you’ll be able to access as a student,” said Schultz. 

With the telehealth program a student can go to the school nurse like usual and then be seen by a doctor at OU Health within minutes if needed. 

“On our side, we are able to conduct the hands-on part of the exam if they need to look in an ear, throat or a flashlight that we got to look at scans,” said Cruz. 

Doctors can then prescribe them medicine and send it to their pharmacy right then and there. 

“It’s cutting off that time of a parent taking off work, going home, trying to get them to urgent care or a physician’s office. That speeds up that part of recovery,” said Cruz. 

Students at Douglas High School, F.D. Moon Middle School, Eugene Field Elementary School, Thelma Parks Elementary School, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and Wilson Elementary School can currently use the program. OKCPS plans to go district wide with the program next school year. 


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