The Medical University of South Carolina added telehealth services to four pilot schools in the Darlington School District to bring students access to quality health care. 

With telehealth services, students can have examinations with real doctors and nurse practicioners. The doctors have the ability to give diagnosis’ and provide prescriptions through an advanced computer system.

The schools that will benefit from these services include Pate, North Hartsville, and Lamar Elementary along with Southside Early Childhood Center.

But, the program will not be limited to just regular health services. Students will also have access to mental treatment.

Louise Johnson is the Director for the Division of Children and Adolescents & Their Families for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. She believes the program will bring change to the Darlington area.

“We want to make sure that students do recieve timely care, and this will allow that to happen. We’re all about making sure that there is academic success for every child in this county.”

The Darlington School District has always had nurses to take of their students. But, some of them work in multiple buildings.

According to Tim Newman, Superintendent for Darlington School District, the program will make it easier to treat more students at a shorter time. 

“It’s never enough. The needs continue to grow and when you’re in an area that’s rural and has high poverty, those services are difficult to attain,” Newman said. 

The program will also help make life easier for single-parents and for those with transportation issues added Kathryn King Cristaldi, who is the Medical Director for MUSC.

“As a single parent, and a working mom, I can attest that whenever we can keep kids in school, and parents at work, and keep everyone healthy, happy, and productive that we’ve really benefited society as a whole,” Cristaldi said.

Carolina Pines, Caresouth Carolina and Morphis Pediatric Group will also work with the schools to provide the students with care. 

The four pilot schools will start the telehealth services immediately and have sent letters home with each student.