The Fall term brought challenges because of remote learning but also highlighted the strength of partnerships in meeting the needs of the families served by Family Services Inc. Head Start. As a result of some service challenges due to COVID-19, Ms. Ekta Patel, Health and Nutrition Manager, Head Start collaborated with Dr. Kimya Nance, Online RN-BSN Coordinator at Winston-Salem State University, to develop an innovative, low-cost telehealth model in which RN-BSN nursing students could provide services to the agency while meeting clinical objectives.
During the months of October and November, 47 registered nurses enrolled in the RN-BSN Community Health Nursing course utilized mobile health (mhealth) and videoconferencing tools to provide health education, facilitate medical and dental home referrals, and obtain critical health data necessary to maintain student enrollment. The telehealth experience, led by Ms. Patel and Dr. Nance, was supported by agency staff; Ms. Shonna Trinadad and Ms. Phyllis Kirkpatrick and WSSU’s RN-BSN Community Health Nursing faculty; Ms. Athena Brummett, RN, FNP-BC, Mrs. Melissa Eddie RN, MSN, Dr. Michelle Dunn, and Ms. Laura Sescilla, RN, MSN.
As a result of this collaboration, over 130 families were served and six stream-ready, educational videos were created for agency use and distribution. The student and faculty efforts resulted in over $18,000.00 of in-kind funds for the agency.
Overall, the telehealth clinical experience was beneficial in promoting the attainment of several health-related targets. The outcomes demonstrate how the established partnership between Family Services Inc. Head Start and the Division of Nursing at Winston-Salem State University can be leveraged, with a little innovation and ingenuity to help support health targets of Family Services Inc. Head Start even amidst a global pandemic.