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Clinic for kids opens inside Caldwell Intermediate School

Posted at 7:43 AM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 08:43:15-05

CALDWELL, Texas — For several years now, Caldwell ISD has aimed to bring better healthcare options to the children of the local community.

Now, Caldwell Intermediate students can have a doctor’s appointment just up the hall from their music teacher.

Through the power of telehealth, medical company HealthPoint is bringing clinical care to the students of Caldwell Intermediate.

Monday morning the school’s new clinic opened its doors, and its first patient received a flu test administered by a HealthPoint nurse and overseen by a doctor via video chat.

“Our idea was to have a clinic on each campus, to make sure all students have access to a healthcare provider," said Heather Escalante, C.O.O. for Caldwell ISD.

While school nurses are able to recommend children to a doctor, they are unable to diagnose an illness.

“It’s a process of, we have to call the parent, they have to come pick [the child] up," said Tracy Ayers, director of nursing for Caldwell ISD.

"Then they have to make a doctor’s appointment, and that’s a day or two later. They’re still having to take off work, it delays treatment for the kiddo, they’re missing that much more school. This [clinic] is more of, kind of a one-stop-shop if you will.”

One of four on-call doctors, nurse practitioners or P.A.’s can prescribe medication, diagnose illnesses, approve vaccinations, and test for certain diseases - all physically administered by a health point nurse at the school.

Eventually, the district plans to be able to order lab work and make blood draws.

“So we’re starting here, it’s open today, and our next stop will be making sure our junior high kiddos can come over to the intermediate, and then we’re going to go over to the high school," said Escalante.

"Hopefully by the end of March our high school clinic will be open, and we’ll finish it out at the elementary.”

As these clinics will allow families to sit in on visits through telehealth video, the district hopes they will provide greater opportunities for working parents, and those who can’t easily travel to Bryan-College Station for care.

The clinic is available to all intermediate school students and staff, but since it’s run through HealthPoint specifically, and not the district, parents and guardians will still need to register their children for the clinic, discussing payment options and health insurance, just as they would at any other kind of clinic.