Promote Healthier Lives | Independent Sampson


Dr. Brooke Baggett is helping one of the many families who have benefited from Healthier Lives in School and Beyond services during their visit.

Michael B. Hardison | Independent Sampson

LC Kerr and East Carolina University hosted a telehealth day for parents and students on Monday as part of their partnership with the Healthyer Lives at School and Beyond program.

Healthier Lives in School and Beyond is a school-based telemedicine program that provides quality nutrition education and counseling, behavioral health, and acute minor medical care services. This program is for students, staff, and faculty in eastern North Carolina who are medically undeserved.

With the recent expansion of the program to Clinton City Schools (CCS), ECU doctors visited LC Kerr to provide health assessments to students who had not had theirs and could not attend. school.

“This is the second time they’ve been here and it’s for students who can’t get their checkup,” said LC Kerr principal Greg Dirks. “We provide all of this through our partnership with ECU and they are all good people. With this program and their help, students can do all of their medical work here and it’s all free.

“Another cool part of this process is that they use one of their big buses that they are taking down that has been converted into a portable doctor’s office, to see patients, which I think is pretty neat. “, he added.

The mission of Healthy Lives at School and Beyond is to help students stay in school so parents and guardians can stay at work.

“A good example of what we are suggesting would be something like a child had an ear infection,” said Diane Barwick, telehealth logistics coordinator for Sampson County. “They can then go to the office and the nurse will have equipment to check their ear. Additionally, there will be an ECU provider there who could diagnose the ear infection.

“They could then call the pharmacy and ban an antibiotic and give the child what he needs,” she said. “That way the parent doesn’t have to take a day off and the child doesn’t have to miss school, which is part of the goal of this program.”

The program operates during resource periods, so no student will ever miss class by accessing program help.

“To get access to this program, all they need is a referral,” said Barwick. “All of the counselors, social workers and nurses here at CCS are all learning to make referrals right now. So if anyone is interested they can just call the school and the school will call me.

“I hope we get to a point soon where everyone knows how to do them,” she continued. “It’s still a learning process at the moment, but we’re excited to be a part of it. “

Healthier Lives in School and Beyond

• Nutrition education and counseling – Services are provided by registered dietitians who have experience with patients of all ages. Providers work with patients to focus on concerns such as weight management, healthy eating, physical activity, changes in eating behaviors, chronic illnesses, and more.

• Behavioral Health Services – focus on providing short-term behavioral assessment and therapeutic interventions, using proven theories and practices for patients of all ages. Our team members include licensed mental health professionals and closely supervised doctoral-level interns. Providers specialize in integrated approaches to health care, including an emphasis on biopsychosocial-spiritual or holistic care. We work alongside each person’s support system, including families, school, primary care providers and others. Common areas of treatment include anxiety, depression, divorce / separation, behavior changes, trauma, etc.

• Short Term Medical Services – are available to all students, faculty, and school staff in Duplin County, Jones County and Clinton City. Our medical providers are based at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and the Center for Rural Health Innovations’ Health-e-Schools program. Services can address minor medical needs, such as earaches, stomach aches, sore throats, asthma, sinus infections, and other minor ailments. This type of medical service is not suitable for severe or chronic health care needs. Acute minor medical care is not intended to replace the patient’s usual medical care provider.

For more information on healthier life in school and beyond or how to enroll, visit

Contact Michael B. Hardison at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.


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