School Based Health Awareness Month

Written by Megan Byron

On February 25, 2020

February: School Based Health Awareness Month

Early one Monday morning, a student returned to school with her father, updated immunization records in hand as well as information regarding her weekend visit to urgent care for the school nurse to keep on file. The student went to class ready to take on the day like normal. However, the nurse, after having reviewed her records, flagged a concerning diagnosis and immediately had the student seen by the Nurse Practitioner (NP).

Thankfully, the NP was on site and able to examine the student right away, noting that the student had a high fever and swollen knee. After further examination, the NP determined that the diagnosis was actually septic knee, not bursitis as listed on her weekend medical records.

Dad was immediately notified and able to return to pick up the child to take her to the MUSC Pediatric Emergency Department. Meanwhile, the KidsWell team called the MUSC Peds ED to ensure they had all the available information regarding the student’s health and were prepared for her arrival.

The child was admitted for seven days, and her treatment ultimately included surgery and intravenous antibiotics for a bone and joint infection. Had this infection been overlooked, it could have meant a much more severe and possibly fatal outcome for the student.

Since her release, KidsWell has played an active role in follow-up care. The student’s father has reported that post-healing, she is back on her feet, energetic and playing soccer. The father has also become a great advocate for KidsWell and is now more involved in parent engagement through the school.

Without this access to care, teamwork and coordination, it’s possible this child may have endured a much different health outcome. The KidsWell program is one way that our providers are changing what’s possible in how care is delivered as well as giving access to care to those who may not otherwise receive it.

February is recognized as School Based Health Awareness Month. For Charleston Promise Neighborhood, this means the recognition of our KidsWell School Based Health Program, as well as our partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) whose telehealth and tele-mental health services make this possible.

KidsWell is one of CPN’s longest running programs. Introduced to our schools in 2011, it has since been going strong in serving over 2,500 unique students and offering 5,900+ clinic visits! Because of this program, students have access to in-school health care five days a week, they spend less critical learning time out of the classroom, chronic illnesses are more manageable (i.e. Asthma and ADHD), and parents save time and money on emergency room and urgent care visits.

For nine years, KidsWell has been providing parents with the peace of mind that her children will be cared for in a timely manner by an amazing staff of nurses and physicians on site at their school. CPN is proud to continue the growth of this program, ensuring that all of our students have access to health care and mental health care!

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