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BOE meeting: Sequatchie schools to adopt telemedicine

SCHS Wrestling Coach Chris Weaver introduced his four state qualifiers to the school board Thursday. L-r: Scott Edwards, Will Keener, Paxton Albright, and Megan Bickford. (File photos.)

March 8, 2019 – The Sequatchie County Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously Thursday night to proceed with a grant-funded pilot project to incorporate telemedicine at all three county schools.

Using internet access, school nurses will be equipped and trained to work in conjunction with Erlanger medical staff to diagnose minor medical issues for both students and staff, allowing treatment on-site, according to Sarai Pierce, preK-8 curriculum supervisor.

It's a remote way that our school nurses can work with Erlanger nurse practitioners,” Pierce explained. “It's not intended to take the place of a primary care physician.”

Instead, the telemedicine program will allow access to healthcare without the child having to leave school, which should lead to a decrease in absenteeism, she said.

The first two years of the program are being offered free of charge by Erlanger, and after that two years the school system can decide whether or not to continue the program. In the meantime, Erlanger Health System will provide all necessary equipment and training.

No one will be denied care due to lack of insurance or the ability to pay deductibles and co-pays, she said.

The school board gave their approval, and implementation of the program will begin immediately, Pierce said, although it will not be fully operational until the 2019-20 school year.

Also adressing the BOE was the wrestling coach from Sequatchie County High School (SCHS).

Coach Chris Weaver introduced four of his wrestlers who qualified to compete at the state level this year: Megan Bickford, Paxton Albright, Will Keener, and Scott Edwards.

Bickford, he said, is the first female wrestler that SCHS has had qualify for state since Katie Brock in 2016.

Keener brought home third place honors from the state meet, Coach Weaver said. Keener is the ony senior on the wrestling team this year, and he has been approached by five different universities with scholarship offers, including one that is a four-year $87,000 academic scholarship.

In other business, the BOE:

All votes were unanimous at the March 7 meeting of the Sequatchie County BOE, and all members were present.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 8 at 6 p.m. CDT, at the school system's central office on Cordell Drive, Dunlap. A working session will be held April 2 at 6 p.m.

All meetings are open to the public.