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Connect to Care: Asthma Telemedicine in Schools

The Connect to Care program provides asthma care by telemedicine at select Kansas City Public Schools locations. It is the first Children’s Mercy pilot program to offer telemedicine specialty care in a school setting.

In-school care for students with asthma

The Connect to Care program works with students who have poorly controlled asthma or are having asthma-related challenges that require specialized care. Schools in the pilot program include:

  • Wendell Phillips Elementary School
  • Phillis Wheatley Elementary School
  • Whittier Elementary School
  • Foreign Language Academy

How it works

The program is a partnership between the Children’s Mercy pulmonology team and school nurses in each of the participating schools. Qualifying students will attend virtual appointments with a Children’s Mercy pulmonologist, who will be in their Children’s Mercy office, while the student will be in the school nurse’s office.

A team approach

Parents and caregivers are active partners in the appointments, too. They can choose to be there with their child or attend virtually. A Children's Mercy telemedicine nurse will also be present in the school nurse’s office to help the doctor with the in-person parts of the appointment.

The telemedicine nurse will gather health information, take vitals, perform spirometry (lung function testing), facilitate the physical exam, and provide asthma action plan education and inhaler teaching as needed.

Parents and caregivers: find out how to sign your child up for the program and what to expect at the virtual appointment.

Improving public health through community partnerships

Children’s Mercy conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment for the Kansas City region every three years. The schools in the Connect to Care program are located in Jackson County, Missouri, which had the highest rate of children and teens with asthma in the most recent assessment.

Families in the program will be able to access essential asthma care without as many disruptions to work schedules or other barriers to attending appointments in person at Children’s Mercy locations.

Funding partners

This project was made possible with generous grants from the Health Forward Foundation; the Abe and Anna Bograd Memorial Trust, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; and the Stark Wolkoff Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee.

Contact us

Health care providers can refer a patient to the Connect to Care program by contacting the asthma school telemedicine nurse at (816) 302-1311. Parents and caregivers of children with asthma who attend one of the participating schools should contact their school nurse for more information.

Learn more about how Children’s Mercy supports schools and healthy communities.