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Balancing Family and Supporting Students During COVID-19

Our Co-Founder Raquel Antunez On Balancing Family, Supporting Students Via Hazel At Home During COVID-19.
4 min read
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Published
June 19, 2020
Hazel Team
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Our Co-Founder Raquel Antunez On Balancing Family, Supporting Students Via Hazel At Home During COVID-19

Raquel Antunez – a Hazel Health co-founder, and our current Vice President of Education – spoke with Ellen Sherberg at Bizwomen to share her experience as a working mom amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing norms of the work world. The lines between personal and professional have become blurry, as many of us are probably familiar with, especially with children, significant others, pets, or other family members at home.

As Antunez describes, finding a balance can be hectic – but it’s definitely possible. “Two months into the national quarantine, my family and I have begun settling into a routine. I’m with my 14-year-old son and my mother who is in her 70s. This makes me a stay-at-home mom, caretaker, and co-founder of a pediatric telehealth company.”

“And now, at Hazel Health, I’m part of a dedicated team that provides healthcare to K-12 students in underserved communities”, she says. Our team has launched Hazel at Home – as Raquel continues on to share:

“Even though Hazel can’t operate within school walls anymore, we’ve been working closely with districts to provide support to families affected by school closures through Hazel at Home, an initiative we mobilized quickly after access to healthcare, especially via schools, became limited for many people during the pandemic.

Schools provide numerous resources like nurturing environments, healthcare programs, lunches, and libraries — and we’re working closely with schools to make extending healthcare access beyond the school walls a reality for thousands of families.

"With our new program, students can connect with a licensed Hazel healthcare professional from home and receive medical expertise, prescriptions, and assess whether they should stay home or seek hospital care. I feel lucky to work with a team that understands this need and remains dedicated to helping students and adjusting to our given circumstances.”

Hazel at Home is our way of providing health services to students remotely while schools remain closed, as well as putting services in place prior to their re-opening. The new program allows those students who attend our partnering schools to connect with licensed Hazel healthcare professionals outside of school walls. We are remaining dedicated to supporting families, especially in underserved communities, to ensure that students can stay healthy and dedicated to their education – especially during COVID-19.  

Beyond her work responsibilities, Antunez’s role as a caretaker at home has led her to offer support to both her family and her community. She explains that “listening and having empathy is more important than ever, and I am balancing this with our efforts as we seek solutions for communities who need it most.” Checking in with your children during stressful times like this is important – as she says, “For many kids, this pandemic is a scary time, and they don’t know what the future holds or  when they’ll be able to see their friends again or learn in a classroom again.”

At Hazel, we understand that this new reality isn’t something families were prepared to handle – and learning to balance work, family, and self-care can be a struggle. Raquel finishes her thoughts by sharing:

"This time has different implications for all of us. For many who are balancing jobs and childcare at home, it’s been even more of a struggle than usual. And in underserved communities, which often have single parents, this conflict is pronounced. As someone who grew up without significant financial means, I think about this often. We’re here for all families, and now is the time to support each other."

Learn more about how Hazel can serve families during the COVID-19 school closures and beyond – reach out to us via our contact page. You can also read the full story on the BizWomen website here.


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Parent Story
A father was concerned when his son was showing COVID-19 symptoms. His school uses Hazel, so he was able to contact a Hazel doctor from home.

The Hazel provider recommended he get a COVID-19 test and shared resources to help find a testing center in their area. The father was eager to help his son feel better and appreciated being able to quickly get answers and advice.
Nurse Story
A student came into the nurse's office with a sprained ankle. After icing her foot, she still was in pain, so the nurse called Hazel. Thankfully, her family had provided consent for over-the-counter pain relief because she was able to take some medicine and return to class feeling better.

After the visit, the Hazel provider reached out to the school nurse to check on the student’s injury. The nurse shared that the student’s ankle was improving, and she appreciated the follow-up.
Parent Story
A mother noticed her son was getting low on his asthma medication. She tried to schedule a visit with his doctor to refill his prescription, but no appointments were available. She didn’t want her son to run out of medicine, so she reached out to Hazel.

The provider was able to send the refill to a local pharmacy within one day. The mother was happy that her son would have the medicine he needed. She was also amazed at how easy and fast the entire process was.
Student Story
A student was coughing and sneezing a lot, but her family wasn’t sure if she was sick or had allergies. Thankfully, her school used Hazel, and they could get an answer.

After talking with the school nurse and the Hazel provider about her symptoms and medical history, the student was happy to find out it was likely allergies. She got some medicine and returned to class feeling better.
Student Story
During the pandemic, a high school student was having a hard time coping. She was sad about COVID-19 impacting her senior year, and she was worried about the state of the world. The student was also struggling with some personal conflicts, and she felt she didn't have the right support at home. After discussing her feelings, a Hazel doctor connected her with resources that she described as “life-changing.” She was very grateful and shared that she didn't know where to go for help before Hazel.
Parent Story
Shortly after COVID-19 began, a student began to develop tics. Her parents took her to a neurologist, but they wanted to get her into counseling as well. The student’s mother was having a hard time finding answers to her questions and didn’t know where to start the process, so she turned to Hazel.

The Hazel doctor listened as the mother shared her concerns and frustrations. Hazel reassured her that they would find the right services for her child. After the initial visit, the Hazel doctor partnered with the school counselor and the student’s mother to identify resources and counseling services that are a good fit.
Student Story
A student came into the nurse’s office because his vision went blurry. The Hazel doctor looked at his eyes, but he did not see any injury. As he asked him questions about his symptoms, he started to sense that he was down about something. After a few minutes, the student shared that he was really sad because his mom was recently diagnosed with cancer. He explained that he feels worried, and it’s hard for him to focus.

Hazel called home, and the student’s mother confirmed her diagnosis. They discussed how to help manage the child’s stress, and Hazel offered to connect the child with counseling resources through the school. The mother was very grateful for the guidance and was eager to get her child help during a stressful time.
Counselor Story
Hazel Health has been integral this year in getting our students the mental health services needed to help them live healthy lives.  The staff has been attentive, prompt, and resourceful. There is an evident sense of caring for the work they do and the students they serve. It has been a pleasure partnering with Hazel Health in providing mental wellness for our Garland ISD families.