More California children can access telehealth at school thanks to Health Net's $3 million grant to sponsor Hazel Health
The Health Net grant will expand school-based telehealth
at 200 schools in ten California counties in 2022
SAN FRANCISCO, January 12, 2022 – Health Net, one of California's longest serving and most experienced Medi-Cal partners, has awarded a $3 million grant to Hazel Health, the national leader in school-based telehealth. The grant will expand access to high quality physical and mental health care for students at 200 K-12 schools in ten California counties. Through Hazel Health's telehealth services, students can connect directly with licensed medical professionals for on-demand care, whether at school or at home. The goal is to close health equity gaps by reducing the number of days children miss school because of health issues.
"At Health Net, we prioritize the physical and mental health of our youngest members. Our approach supports care where kids need it – in school, at home and at the doctor's office," said Martha Santana-Chin, Medi-Cal President of Health Net. "That's why we support Hazel Health and other organizations across the state that work to close care gaps, meet behavioral health needs and drive health equity (PDF)."
Since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, Hazel Health's physical and mental health services have helped students in over 130 schools across California where Health Net has members. At these schools, students who had an in-school physical health visit with Hazel were able to safely return to class 85% of the time. That return rate has resulted in about 2,300 additional hours of class time for California students who would have otherwise been sent home.
"At no time in any of our lives has access to meaningful health services been more important for children," says Dr. Travis Gayles, Chief Health Officer of Hazel Health. "Every child should have access to high quality health care no matter their zip code or family income. Hazel's platform has enormous potential to close the gaps in healthcare equity, and we are thrilled that Health Net's sponsorship will help advance that critical goal."
At schools that participate in Hazel HEART™, Hazel's Early Assessment, Response and Treatment program, students can also connect directly with licensed therapists at school or at home for short-term, evidence-based counseling.
"As a rural, agricultural California district, Denair Unified faces challenges in terms of access to care, especially pediatric mental health care," says Dr. Terry Metzger, Superintendent of Denair Unified School District in Stanislaus County. "Our kids are not going to learn until they're feeling good. Partners like Hazel Health who are helping give our students access to medical care and behavioral support, whether they're at home or at school, it's just one more thing that we can do for our families."
Hazel Health aims to expand services into 200 schools across a variety of rural and urban California counties in 2022, including Butte, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Stanislaus and Tulare. The company's physical and mental telehealth services help address barriers to accessing high quality health care, including limited transportation, healthcare provider shortages, long wait times and other social determinants of health faced by California's most vulnerable residents.