Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fair Haven Community Health Care (FHCHC) organization has continued to provide EHHS and Joseph Melillo Middle School (JMMS) students medical care. They have transitioned to a telehealth system for students to access safely from their homes; additionally, they are giving other students a chance to register! These services provide both high school and middle school students the chance to receive medical services while remaining safe at home.
FHCHC is a local organization that makes high quality healthcare accessible for the community they serve. The organization has been around for decades, but in recent years (2017) it has expanded into the EHPS system opening School Based Medical Health Centers in EHHS and JMMS (If you would like more information on the School Based Health Centers, access it through previous articles: Health Clinic at EHHS and Take Advantage of the Medical School-Based Health Center). Although schools were forced to close due to the pandemic, students still have the ability to consult with a health care provider. These consultations occur virtually via a teleconference or video conferencing. Ms. Mary Lamberti, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) at EHHS, explains that though the appointment is done digitally it is similar to the actual exam room. “Similar to a regular appointment, the provider asks questions but you are in your home! The provider may perform a limited exam and then make a diagnosis and treatment plan,” says Ms. Lamberti. Several aspects of the telehealth visit will be the same, however some may be different.
Ms. Erica Forti, EHPS Superintendent, says, “Some of the questions and aspects students would traditionally experience [...] may be different. For example, the student may be asked to describe in detail a symptom or issue that the healthcare professional may not be able to see and observe up close and assess themselves.” Several aspects of a regular appointment will be changed to fit the new virtual environment. However, one thing will remain: the confidentiality of the patient. Some of the services take place on a secure telehealth application or portal - this is all dependent upon the organization’s preferred conferencing tool. The video link for the teleconference is secure and can't be hacked by any other person or computer. This ensures student privacy.