A new virtual health initiative is coming to Carencro schools.
LAFAYETTE, La. – Lafayette General Medical Center is making it easier for school nurses to treat students.The Lafayette Parish School System’s telemedicine program is an addition to the district’s school based health system, which is housed at Carencro Middle School.The Lafayette General Medical Center Foundation donated the technology to launch the telemedicine clinic at Ossun Elementary, and it has changed the operations of the school nurse’s office.

“Anything that can be done at a small clinic can be done here,” said Maurdey Durand, Ossun’s school nurse. “I think it is very beneficial because the kids that can stay at school can stay and we do it comfortably.”Now, she can connect with a medical doctor through a TV screen to treat students.

“The idea is to keep them more in their seat, but we’re also offering services to kids who might not otherwise have them available,” said Dr. Donna Jean Wilson, who teleconferences with Durand and students for appointments.

Ossun Elementary is the flagship campus for this cutting edge technology.

“This is very much a service and solution for parents. We have a lot of single parent families, and it’s very difficult, and when you get the phone call your child is sick you have to leave work.”

Each setup costs somewhere in the ballpark of $15,000 to $30,000 dollars–an investment the Lafayette General Health Foundation feels is worth every penny.

“We are the communities non-for-profit hospital system, so the community owns us, and so doing something like this is giving back to the community,” said Cian Robinson, the executive director of the Lafayette General Medical Center Foundation

The program helps eliminate the need for a student to miss class for headaches, toothaches, and other aches and pains that would typically send them home.

Now, they’re in and out in 30 minutes or less.

“It’s important for us in the school system that the students can be treated for minor illnesses and injuries here at their school and return to class,” said Bradley Cruice, the director of health and wellness for the Lafayette Parish School System.

Robinson says new telemedicine clinics will come online in the next 90 days at three other Carencro-area schools.  The clinics will be located at Carencro Heights Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, and Carencro High.