Bainbridge partnership pairs hospital, elementary schools - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge partnership pairs hospital, elementary schools

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

A partnership between a hospital and a school system will help keep south Georgia children healthy.

Memorial Hospital in Bainbridge set up tele-health systems at West Bainbridge and Jones-Wheat Elementary schools.

West Bainbridge Elementary School nurse Becky Loyd says her heart breaks when she sees students whose families don't have the means to provide basic medical care for their children.

"Most of the kids have two parents that work, and it's kind of hard for them to get off and take the kids," said Loyd. "And this is going to be really good for them."

This is Decatur county's first school-based telehealth center. The purpose is to provide medical expertise along with operational equipment to school clinics.

"We'll actually be able to have an electronic interaction with a pediatrician through Memorial Pediatrics," said Decatur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield.

The equipment is high-tech. Memorial Pediatrics doesn't even have to be at the school to provide a diagnosis.

"The doctors can provide a diagnosis and a recommended treatment plan through the telemedicine equipment, which is kind of like a a video conference," said Memorial Hospital CEO Billy Walker.

Nearly one thousand students from both elementary schools will benefit from $60,000 in advancements.

"If they get on the school bus and can make it to school, then that opportunity now will exist for them," said Dr. Rayfield.

He says his long term intentions are to incorporate TeleHealth into all county schools.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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