On March 9, 2020, the state announced the launch of a telehealth pilot project to connect students with behavioral health providers in the Switzerland of Ohio School District in Monroe County. The objective is to connect the school district with behavioral health services while also providing high-speed internet connections to Ohioans who have been left behind.
Switzerland of Ohio was chosen for the pilot project because of the difficulty of their case. We believed that if we could improve the situation in Switzerland, we could provide a strong blueprint for expansion in other districts. As promised, this project has yielded lessons learned and we are providing that as a blueprint to help other districts provide telehealth services. As the pilot project moves forward, the blueprint will continue to be updated.
On February 4, 2021, the state announced that Phase 1 of the pilot was operational. The objective of Phase 1 was to connect each of the district’s eight buildings through their existing OARnet infrastructure so school counselors could provide services remotely. Switzerland of Ohio partnered with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to provide consultative services on the setup and planning of Phase 1.
The blueprint has been updated to reflect lessons learned during this project in order to help other school districts across the state implement their own telehealth program.