Friday, August 4, 2017

School Telehealth Hero Nurse Honored

Nurses are always heroes, but school nurse Windy Garrett of the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, USD500, is exceptional. The KU Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth (KUCTT) was pleased to honor nurse Windy as a Telehealth Hero as part of its year-long 25th anniversary celebration, with thanks to Argentine Middle School principal Jeremy Brueggemann.  Nurse Windy has helped hundreds of children and families connect to care by telemedicine for almost two decades, both in elementary school and now leading efforts with middle schoolers, as well as mentoring trainees going on to school nursing careers.

With KUCTT and other nurse colleagues, nurse Windy helped pioneer TeleKidcare, one of the first school-based telemedicine programs in the country. TeleKidcare allows children to be seen over video by specialists without having to leave school. She is also a nationally recognized speaker on telemedicine and school nursing, most recently talking with the federal director of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. A telemedicine nurse is the doctor’s onsite eyes and ears in family-centered care, and even with improvements in technology, the nurse champion has remained the linchpin to telemedicine success.

Telehealth ROCKS Schools, another current KUCTT school based initiative, also embraces nurse champions to extend telemedicine into the school setting in South Central and Southeast Kansas, bringing students and families with developmental and behavioral concerns more options for support close to home. By working together, telemedicine offers unique advantages as telecommunication brings many to the virtual table to support the student and family—school personnel, primary care teams, developmental and behavioral specialists, and other community members. Telehealth ROCKS Schools also includes Project ECHO "telementoring" to assist local medical, mental health, and school providers with expertise in developmental and behavioral disorders, increasing their capacity to identify and treat these disorders locally.

For more information about telemedicine near you and about the Telehealth ROCKS programs, please contact KU Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth at (913) 588-2226.

Picture Left to Right: Jeremy Breuggemann, Principal, Argentine Middle School;  Joy Williams, KUCTT Telemedicine Coordinator;  Windy Garrett, Nurse, Argentine Middle School;  Dr. Eve-Lynn Nelson, KUCTT Director

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