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Department Announcements
Cub Pride Article (April 13, 2017) by Mrs. Kristen Earnest, Head Nurse
Spring is here, and as the school year winds down, the Monett R-1 Health Department is adding a new program into the line-up: ACHT Now! (Access Children’s Healthcare through Telehealth Now) is a school-based telehealth program operated by CoxHealth in partnership with Monett R-1. This program is made possible through grant funding from the Missouri Foundation of Health and Children’s Miracle Network.

Telehealth is a method of providing healthcare remotely, using an Internet connection, web camera, and specialized medical equipment to connect patients with medical providers. If your child is sick, he or she will go to the school nurse for evaluation. If the nurse feels that your child’s illness/injury may be able to be treated through telemedicine, the parent will be contacted for consent for your child to be seen. A Licensed Nurse Practitioner or physician will examine your child through a web camera and specialized equipment. The parent must participate in this visit either in person or remotely through a video connection.

ACHT Now! Services provided include diagnosis and treatment of common illness such as cold, cough, sore throat, ear infection, or pink eye. If a prescription is needed, it will be sent electronically to the family’s choice of pharmacy. Through the grant, there will be no out-of-pocket expense to your family. If the child has insurance, it will be billed.

This program will be housed at the Monett Intermediate School on a trial basis, targeting grades 5-8 in the data collection phase. The hope will be making it available in all buildings in the very near future. If your child is not in the targeted grades, he or she may still participate; however, transportation to the program location will be needed. Parents may also call and request an appointment if their child awakens and is not feeling well, and parents are unsure whether to keep the child home or to bring him or her in. Our hope is that we can reduce absenteeism due to health-related needs by giving students faster access to acute care. This program does not exclude your primary care physician (PCP). We encourage a great relationship with your PCP. This program is set up for minor acute needs.

With spring also in the air, we are looking towards the new school year. It is time for parents to start turning in shot records. If your child is going into kindergarten, 8th grade, or 12th grade, your child’s school needs updated records! Letters have been mailed to parents notifying you of immunizations needed. The CoxHealth Care Mobile will be at Monett High School on April 21, 2017. The Care Mobile was also present during kindergarten screening. We strongly encourage students with no insurance or Medicaid to participate while the Care Mobile is at your child’s school. The immunizations are free of charge, and a copy will be supplied to the school so your work is done! If you have any questions regarding the immunization status of your student, please contact your child’s school nurse!

Cub Pride Article - February 10, 2017 by Mrs. Kristen Earnest, Head Nurse

We have had some exciting new things happening in the Monett R-1 Health Department! We have been able to work with Big Smiles Dental and bring a free dental clinic to our students at all Monett campuses. We also will be working with the Cox Health C.A.R.E. Mobile to provide free immunizations to students prior to school enrollment.

There were some national statistics we considered before offering a dental program at school: 1) nationally, over 51 million school hours are lost annually due to poor oral health; 2) 3 out of 5 children are affected by tooth decay; and 3) 16 million children lack basic dental care. These factors along with many others led us to believe our student population could benefit from dentist visits to our schools. Big Smiles set up a mobile clinic in an empty classroom, and they were able to provide many treatments to our students including x-rays, cleanings, sealants, fillings, extractions of baby teeth, preventative care, and referrals for urgent care needs and orthodontic needs. We had approximately 135 students participate in the program. Big Smiles was able to provide 107 fillings, 216 sealants, 20 urgent referrals, 45 orthodontic referrals, 10 extractions, and 12 students received donated care. We have 43 students who will be seen in March due to our large turnout!

Cox C.A.R.E. Mobile is on site this week at Monett Elementary providing free immunizations to our students enrolling in pre-K and kindergarten next year. We have 9 students participating in this program. We are excited these students will be kindergarten-ready!

Another area we would like to draw attention to is cold and flu season. We are seeing a large number of sick students at all Monett R-1 school sites. We would like to remind you if your student is running a fever higher than 100 degrees, please keep him/her home for 24 hours. Also, if your student has experienced vomiting or loose stools, he/she needs to stay home for 24 hours. By keeping sick students at home, we can stop the spread of illness and keep more students healthy and in school! Please encourage your student to wash hands frequently, cover his/her coughs and sneezes, drink plenty of water, and get plenty of rest!

With the exciting preventative health care opportunities our students are receiving, I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

Cub Pride Article - November 11, 2016 by Mrs. Kristen Earnest:

With fall among us, we are quickly approaching what is considered the peak of flu season. While we know the flu hits the Ozarks every year, the strain, severity, timing, and length of the season cannot be predicted. With that in mind, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has some recommendations to keep you, your family, and your students in school healthy! Visit their web site at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm. Forty-seven staff members participated in the flu immunization clinic this year held on the Monett Intermediate School campus!

Besides preparing to combat flu season, the Monett R-1 Health staff have been screening students of all ages for vision and hearing loss. A student’s ability to see and hear well can directly affect his/her performance in the classroom. Currently, we have referred over 120 students for further testing for vision or hearing needs. We would like to thank the Lions Club and Walmart Vision Center in Monett for assisting with vision screenings. We would also like to thank the Lions Club for providing eye exams and glasses to our students when needed.

Another focus for our health department has been our students’ overall health. CoxHealth brought its Cardiac Kids Program to our 5th grade students. Students who participated were provided with a free health screening that included their height, weight, blood pressure, screening for a diabetic indicator, and a cardiac panel lab draw. We had approximately 130 students participate in the screening along with 3 teachers! Cardiac Family fun classes are set to start Monday, November 7, 2016. During these classes, students and their families will learn about heart health and healthy snack preparation and will also participate in heart-healthy exercises. Thank you very much to Cox Monett Hospital for sponsoring this program and to MIS 5th grade teachers for cooking breakfast for all students who received fasting blood draws!

The Monett Health Department is also excited to start working with ACHT Now! (Access Children’s Health Through Telehealth Now). This program will be piloted at MIS and will target students who do not meet the 90th percentile in the attendance goal and/or students with chronic health care needs. The objective of this program will be to reduce absenteeism by providing onsite healthcare through telehealth in addition to getting students engaged in a health management plan with a primary or special care provider. In the time line provided to the district, the goal will be to begin educating parents, students, and faculty about this program in December of this year and to begin treatment of students in Spring 2017. We are eager to begin working with Cox Monett Hospital to provide this opportunity to our students.
Cub Pride Article - September 9, 2016 by Ms. Kristen Earnest, Head Nurse:
Monett R-1 School District’s 2016-2017 school year is well underway! The Health Services Staff has had an active start with changes taking place in the immunization requirements.

What is the most common question your school nurses are receiving at the start of this school year? “What is meningococcal disease, and why did the state decide my student had to be vaccinated for this in 2016?”

Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and can lead to meningitis (which is an infection in the lining of the brain or spinal cord) and infections in the blood. This disease can spread from person to person through close contact. Even with treatment of this disease, serious side effects can occur including death, hearing loss, brain damage, kidney damage, nervous system problems, amputations, and severe scarring. Anyone can get this disease, but certain people are at higher risk, including adolescents and young adults ages 16-23 years old.

These serious complications and the fact that adolescents and young adults are in a higher risk category are just a few of the reasons the meningococcal ACWY vaccines have become mandatory in the state of Missouri.

Starting this 2016-2017 school year, students entering 8th and 12th grades are required to have received a vaccination for meningococcal disease. Two doses of this vaccine are recommended for adolescents 11-18 years old. The first dose is given at age 11 or 12 with a booster at age 16. Dosing schedules may vary due to certain health conditions, or this vaccine may be contraindicated for your student. It is always important to discuss all healthcare decisions with your family physician.

The staff in the Monett R-1 Health Services Department appreciates all of the community support in supplying our students with vaccinations and educating our students and their families on this change in vaccination requirements. We also appreciate the parents who have turned in updated shot records. If you have still not vaccinated your student and have questions regarding this disease or vaccination schedule, please contact your student’s school nurse. More information can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Immunization Required for Incoming Eighth Graders

Whooping cough (Pertussis) is a respiratory disease that can be prevented by adequate immunizations. It is passed from person to person by coughing or sneezing.  Symptoms are a severe, prolonged cough that can last for weeks.  In small children, the cough may produce a characteristic “whoop” sound, from whence the name comes.  It can be a very serious infection in small children, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

There has been an upsurge in Pertussis among teenagers in recent years, and for that reason adolescents entering 8th grade are required to get a booster immunization called a TDAP before attending school.  The TDAP vaccine also provides protection from tetanus and diphtheria.  Whooping cough can be passed on to younger, inadequately immunized children by adults, who may experience a milder form of the disease.  For this reason, adults who work with small children and pregnant women are encouraged to get the TDAP vaccine.
Contact your health care provider for more information

Department Contacts
+ Earnest, Kristen
+ Fenske, Paula
+ Fulton, Sue
+ Parrigon, Sheena
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