The James M. Cox Foundation recently announced a $250,000 grant that will be used to fully expand telehealth capabilities to all St. Martin Parish public schools in Louisiana, allowing students to receive virtual medical attention while at school. The grant funds will be used to complete the installation of telehealth units at the remaining 15 St. Martin Parish public schools, as well as place telehealth units at St. Martin Hospital and its Urgent Care Clinic.
Offered at no cost to the families, more than 8,000 students in St. Martin Parish will have virtual access to healthcare by harnessing the technologies of telecommunications, high-definition cameras and viewing monitors, enterprise health records and cloud-based systems. Telehealth has the ability to diagnose and treat acute conditions such as earaches and influenza, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma.
The first telehealth pilot program was established between a local elementary school and hospital in St. Martin Parish in 2015, and proved to be very successful. Students with access to the telehealth units had a higher attendance rating and improved academic performance, and it enabled parents to stay at work and decreased their time out of the office.
Cox Business delivers 1 gigabit speeds to all St. Martin Parish schools and is currently upgrading each school to a 10 gigabit connection. Through the technology Cox provides, telehealth fills a primary need to increase access to healthcare services while eliminating poverty barriers and improving the lives of children and their families.