Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District Partner to Offer Telehealth Visits from School with CHLA Specialists
LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2023) – In a first-of-its-kind partnership between a hospital and a local school district, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and Los Angeles Unified School District have joined together to offer virtual healthcare visits for children at school through the Virtual Care at School Program. The program aims to create a personalized and convenient way for children to receive care at school from CHLA specialists in lieu of being absent for an appointment. At launch onthe first day of the 2023-2024 school year, the program will be available to existing CHLA patients 12 years of age or older who attend one of 20 participating Los Angeles Unified schools and are followed by one of the following specialties at CHLA: Adolescent Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Medical Genetics and Pulmonology.
“Family-centered care is at the core of everything we do at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and we know that children with chronic illnesses constantly missing school and caregivers having to leave work early to travel across town for a doctor’s appointment are pain points for many of our patient families,” says Omkar Kulkarni, MPH, Chief Transformation and Digital Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “We’ve taken these concerns to heart and worked closely with Los Angeles Unified to create the Virtual Care at School Program so that our patients can now continue receiving world-class care from California’s premier pediatric hospital without having to leave their school campus.”
“Los Angeles Unified takes an active approach in providing resources that support the whole child by fostering academic excellence, nurturing and enriching green spaces, physical wellbeing and social emotional health,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “The partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the largest provider of pediatric medical care in Los Angeles County, will not only provide world-class care from CHLA specialists. It also removes numerous impediments for families receiving medical attention by providing virtual care at schools, reducing the time families miss work and minimizing time away from the classroom. I can think of no better partner than CHLA to launch the Virtual Care at School Program.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has become an integral part of health care. At CHLA, telehealth visits have skyrocketed. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 470 virtual appointments were conducted annually. That number now exceeds 42,000. Using telehealth to bring the doctor’s office to the school setting offers a chance to deliver the care students need without sacrificing academic progress or their family’s well-being.
“As a medical professional and chief medical director of a school district, my top priority is ensuring our students receive critical support and the best medical care we can offer,” Chief Medical Director Dr. Smita Malhotra said. “I look forward to the ways this partnership with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will benefit our students, support our families and bring necessary resources to the Los Angeles Unified school community.”
On the day of the virtual healthcare visit, students will be summoned from class and provided a safe, quiet and private space and the equipment needed to access their appointment through a link sent to their Los Angeles Unified email address. Designated school personnel will help students connect to the visit then leave the room to ensure privacy. Caregivers will also receive a link to join the appointment from wherever they may be. A caregiver is required to participate in the child’s virtual visit unless the child is over the age of 18.
Los Angeles Unified identified the following 20 schools to pilot the program based on an in-depth analysis of absenteeism rates and the number of students with chronic conditions at each school.
- David Starr Jordan High School
- Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School
- Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School
- Francisco Sepulveda Middle School
- Huntington Park High School
- James Madison Middle School
- John C. Fremont High School
- John H. Francis Polytechnic High School
- John Marshall High School
- Los Angeles Academy Middle School STEAM Magnet
- North Hollywood High School
- Northridge Academy High School
- Olive Vista Middle School
- Panorama High School
- Phineas Banning Senior High School
- Rudecinda Sepulveda Dodson Middle School
- Thomas Jefferson High School
- Vista Middle School
- William Howard Taft High School
- Woodrow Wilson Senior High School
“We’re thrilled to support this first-of-its-kind partnership between Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified to offer healthcare services to students through telemedicine,” says Samuel Salen, MD, President of the Rauch Family Foundation, whose generous philanthropic grant is providing funding for the Virtual Care at School Program. “By allowing kids who would otherwise miss school due to their chronic illness or acute injury to receive care on campus, we believe we can play a part in helping more children to prosper through their school years and beyond.”
Scheduling is now open. To make an appointment for a virtual visit and discuss eligibility, CHLA’s Virtual Care at School Program Coordinator can be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST at 323-284-3829.
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is at the forefront of pediatric medicine, offering acclaimed care to children from across the world, the country and the greater Southern California region. Founded in 1901, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the largest provider of care for children in Los Angeles County, the No. 1 pediatric hospital in California and the Pacific region, and is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of Best Children’s Hospitals. Clinical expertise spans the pediatric care continuum for newborns to young adults, from everyday preventive medicine to the most medically complex cases. Inclusive, compassionate, child- and family-friendly clinical care is led by physicians who are faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Physicians translate the new discoveries, treatments and cures proven through the work of scientists in The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles—among the top 10 children’s hospitals for National Institutes of Health funding—to bring answers to families faster. The hospital also is home to one of the largest training programs for pediatricians in the United States. To learn more, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter, and visit our blog at CHLA.org/blog.