Hazel launched in 2015 with the belief that healthcare access for students is essential to meet their immediate medical needs and to improve their long-term health and academic outcomes. Over thousands of visits, it became clear that the barriers that keep students from regular medical care also make access to mental health care extremely difficult.
To help every student get the care they need and deserve, Hazel offers an integrated care approach that includes physical and mental health care and case management.
The 2021-2022 School Year Impact Report highlights the impact Hazel has made providing whole child care (physical and mental health care), with a focus on four key areas: learning and engagement, social determinants of health, mental health, and physical health. Within this impact report, Hazel proves that school-based telehealth is a game changer for students and their families. In partnership with school staff, Hazel is transforming health care access through telehealth visits every day.
Key takeaways from the report
Hazel helps improve attendance and learning
Hazel is committed to addressing the connection between student health and academic performance.. Research shows that when students safely return to class after an in-school Hazel visit, about three hours of class time is saved. This past school year, 84% of students safely returned to class after a Hazel physical health visit, which means Hazel saved nearly 44,000 hours of instructional time this school year– that’s around 7,000 days of school. Hazel also helped to curb learning loss and keep students safely in the classroom by:
- Delivering mental health services that help students be fully present and focused while in school
- Keeping wait times for physical health visits to under 5 minutes, maximizing learning time in class
- Providing students who need to go home after a visit (ie. pink eye, strep throat) with a prescription so they can start same-day treatment and return to school more quickly
Hazel addresses health inequities and Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)
The students in Hazel’s partner schools are racially, ethnically, and economically diverse. Around 77% of students identify as BIPOC and 63% of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. To offer truly equitable care to all students and address the SDoH that fuel health inequities, Hazel has taken several impactful actions:
- Assembled a culturally competent care team that mirrors the communities Hazel serves; 60%+ of Hazel’s mental health providers identify as Persons of Color (POC), and 30%+ are bilingual
- Promoted economic stability by helping families stay at work or home; 86% of Hazel families report that a Hazel visit saves time away from work or childcare
- Helped families access timely care without the financial burden; 28% of Hazel families report that would have gone to the emergency room or an urgent care center if Hazel were not available
- Connected students in rural areas with limited broadband access to medical care through school internet connectivity
Hazel is expanding mental health access by building a culture of prevention rooted in culturally competent care
With the launch of mental health services, Hazel provided students and families with a new set of services. During the first year in a cohort of schools who offered whole child care, Hazel conducted over 15,000 mental health sessions, providing direct therapy to students in over 20 unique school districts. With this launch came the development of a high-quality team of therapists as well as Family Resource Managers (FRMs), who serve as care navigation experts to support families. Hazel’s FRMs reach out to the family within 48 hours of a referral to schedule an appointment, ensuring access to timely care. Hazel’s mental health team also:
- Intervened early to minimize a delay between symptom onset and treatment, with 12 years old being the average age at intake for Hazel services
- Engaged teenagers in a Mental Health Student Ambassador Program to facilitate peer support and develop leadership and advocacy skills around mental health topics
- Implemented a small pilot study to better understand clinical effectiveness, which signaled that a short-term therapy model can have clinically significant outcomes
Hazel treats students’ physical health needs and makes referrals for regular, preventative care
Every day, Hazel providers successfully treat a range of physical health concerns. Among all visits, Hazel’s care team most commonly treats students for headaches, stomach aches, and nasal congestion. Hazel’s provider team is also instrumental in providing referrals to connect families with local resources. Thirty-three percent of all referrals are to connect students with a primary care provider (PCP) for regular, preventative care, while 22% of referrals help families connect with COVID-19 resources, such as testing sites. This past year, the physical health team is also proud to have:
- Piloted a health screens program to support students identified as at-risk receive preventative care
- Continued to support students through the COVID-19 pandemic
- Presented at conferences about the telehealth model to share best practices
Download the full report to learn more about Hazel’s mission and impact. Hazel is excited to continue to expand and grow in the 2022-2023 school year.