Fort Worth, Texas,
10:43 AM

Virtual Visit Brings Expertise Of Cook Children’s Directly To Your Child’s School

"Why is the school nurse calling me?"

"Your child is here with a sore throat. I know they haven’t had a fever, but strep has been going around."

Whelp, there goes your day. Cancel all your meetings. Call your pediatrician's office. Get an appointment in a few hours. Get your child tested and see what happens next.

But for some families in North Texas, there might be a better way to get treated for illnesses.

Through a partnership with Cook Children's, students in Keller ISD join a growing list of other local school districts who can now see a pediatric provider via telemedicine as part of our School-Based Virtual Health program. All while staying at school.

Children with qualifying conditions such as earache, sore throat, pink eye and many others who present symptoms to their school nurse, connect with either a Cook Children's board certified pediatrician or a certified nurse practitioner via a secure video connection. The school nurse can use devices to show the provider the child's ears, throat, rashes, and other physical findings as well as allow the provider to listen via a digital stethoscope. Students also can be tested for both strep and flu while right there in the office.

The virtual visits are completely covered for children who are on Medicaid. For all other patients, the price of a visit is $65 for new patients and $50 for established patients.

Keller ISD and Cook Children's started a pilot program approximately three years ago in five schools. The success of the program led to the adoption of the program to the full district last fall. Funds from the Grainger Foundation allowed for the purchase of more equipment and marketing information to be distributed.

Enrollment at Keller ISD has increased significantly over time. Although registration can be completed on the day of the visit, there are now over 1,000 students pre-registered for visits. More than 150 appointments have been completed this school year. About half of those visits have allowed the student to stay at school. Staying in school means decreasing lost educational time, faster time to diagnosis and treatment as well as prevention of many parental headaches and frustrations.

Interested in more information about Cook Children's School-Based Virtual Health program?

Click here to find out more about the program and how your school might become involved. If you would like to donate to this program, click here and type in "telemedicine" when prompted.

FAQ about Cook Children’s Virtual Health School-Based Program



Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club  and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Smith is an experienced keynote speaker for a variety of topics including pediatric/parenting topics, healthcare social media and physician leadership. If you are interested in having Dr. Smith present to your conference or meeting, please contact him at

He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click here to make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.


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