Zeeland Community Hospital
Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital Launches School RN Program
ZEELAND, MI – November 6 2017 – Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital has launched a school-based RN program in four elementary schools within the Zeeland Public School district with the goal of keeping kids healthy and in school while proactively addressing health and medication concerns.
The program is a collaborative effort between the Zeeland Community Hospital community relations department, Grand Rapids-based Healthier Communities, and MedNow, a Spectrum Health telehealth service. Nurses are available to the participating schools utilizing a telehealth monitor during all school hours, while a local nurse from Zeeland Community Hospital is available on site for training and adhoc rounding, visiting with students who are ill and overseeing medication distribution to students. The team of nurses is also available to advise school personnel on how to provide first aid and assess illness.
“The school-based nurse program is a great example of how joining the Spectrum Health system has allowed us to broaden health services locally in ways that really benefit our community,” said Sara Donkersloot, director of foundation and community services at Zeeland Community Hospital. “It’s a way for us to assist school staff when they need to address kids’ health needs. We can bring clinical expertise to aid their decision-making and processes, which is a win for the school staff, the students and parents.”
The hospital hopes it can make the program available to additional area schools in the future, but for now, it is offered to these select Zeeland schools. The School Health Program across all Spectrum Health regions (different models of care) provides health services to over 46,000 students in 19 school districts. The program utilizes the telehealth technology called MedNow, which allows school personnel to “call up” a nurse on a special computer monitor that allows for both video and audio in real time. Using this technology, the nurse is able to examine a student, talk to the student and assess the illness or injury. The nurse can then help advise school personnel on the best course of action.
“This morning we got a chance to try out the new School Health and Med Now program that Zeeland is piloting,” said Jodi Hyma, administrative assistant, Early Childhood Center, Zeeland Public Schools. “LOVE IT! It was so easy to use and is such a great resource for us! I just wanted to pass along our first experience with this program!”
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time the organization has received this recognition.
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