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Building Better Access to Care, in Schools & Homes

Serves 1.5 million K-12 students, Hazel Health announces Series C funding.
4 min read
• 
Published
September 2, 2020
Hazel Team
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The editorial staff at Hazel are a diverse group of writers and professionals.

Hazel now serves districts representing 1.5 million K-12 students and announces Series C funding.

We are living in an incredible time and a unique moment in history. The daily headlines of COVID-19, rising unemployment, and families reaching the limit of their resources for shelter or healthcare, are juxtaposed with stories of hope, generosity and joy. As a CEO, and the CEO of Hazel specifically, it is a time of enormous reflection and also a time where our mission and services are more relevant than ever.  

Hazel was founded upon the belief that all children deserve access to quality healthcare in order to excel throughout their lives. In order to reach as many children as possible, Hazel serves children in schools, providing instant support to many common health concerns and allowing children to return to the classroom to continue learning. Hazel brings educators, school nurses, healthcare professionals and families together to provide a new way to partner with districts and ensure whole child engagement and access to ongoing healthcare. Through this work with our partner school districts, we have learned that even though many working families have healthcare available, there are challenges in navigating the system and embedding preventative care.

The response from districts and families has validated the need, with 90% of eligible families choosing to enroll in the program. Engagement has been incredibly high at 70% in the first year, well above the 10% industry standard for telehealth. More than 40% of our families indicate that they do not have a primary care physician, therefore typically relying on costly ER and urgent care.

The people who work in districts across the U.S. are our heroes and we partner with them on the frontlines to eliminate barriers to healthcare and to transform communities. Our partners range from large urban school districts like Denver Public Schools and Clark County School District to smaller, rural districts in the Central Valley of California. While the demographics may vary, the need for easy access to quality healthcare is constant. These partnerships have demonstrated the impact of providing access to healthcare services: increased attendance for children, decreased parental time away from work and more support for district personnel to ensure the health of children. We are continually awed by the heroic efforts school nurses and educators put forth each day to service children and we are humbled to work alongside them.  

Hazel has also seen the power of telehealth as a tool to complement, rather than replace, community-based care. When our patients have primary care providers, we coordinate with them to ensure continuity of care. When families tell us they do not have a PCP, we connect them to local pediatricians or community based clinics to help them establish a medical home. One of our earliest partners is the Livingston Community Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) that is celebrating their 50th anniversary serving California’s Central Valley. We have worked together to increase access to care. As their CEO Leslie Abasta-Cummings shared “Our providers have done amazing work caring for our community, and continue to raise the bar in finding new and innovative ways to provide care throughout the global health crisis. Hazel Health has been a great partner to us, and we have a shared vision for improving healthcare access for underserved communities. Hazel Health’s expertise and partnership with schools has improved healthcare access for many of our existing patients. In addition, Hazel has been able to help connect many children who were not previously receiving care to our primary care physicians to ensure they have an ongoing medical home.”

While we are proud of our results, we are most inspired by the stories from the students and families we serve. I remember the phone call I received from Superintendent Adolfo Melara, who reached me on a Saturday to share that “Hazel saved a life this week” after one of Hazel’s amazing providers had performed a series of assessments for a young girl who was experiencing headaches and ultimately led to the identification and treatment of a brain abscess. I remember the 7th grader who had missed more than 22 days of school the previous year, but after a Hazel provider diagnosed the child with asthma and began treatment, he missed only five days of the school the following year.

As communities across the U.S. have been ravaged by the pandemic, our mission has remained strong and, due to demand, our services have been extended to support children in their homes. Families across the U.S. are already using Hazel at Home, telehealth for families. Hazel at Home bridges the gap to offer care for all students, in all communities and ensures continuity of care. Hazel is doing this work actively collaborating with districts in planning safe and reliable health management – be it in the school classroom, the home, or both.

In order to better serve our communities and provide preventative healthcare to more students, Hazel has raised Series C funding, led by Owl Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures, with additional funding by Uprising, UCSF Foundation Investment Company, and Centene Corporation.

Additionally, Hazel is working with existing partner insurance providers within school districts to increase access and close the gap in care for all children. Hazel currently works with U.S. districts representing over 1.5M students of the 60M students nationally.

We’re extremely thankful and excited to continue spreading Hazel’s mission with our network of families, licensed medical staff, and school nurses. We promise to remain steadfast in helping ensure every student has access to quality healthcare.

This blog was written by Josh Golomb, CEO, Hazel Health.


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Learn how Hazel can improve access to care for K-12 students
A member of our team will be in touch to talk about how we partner with schools and school nurses to expand access to health services - whether students are learning in school or at home.
COVID-19: Learn how Hazel can improve access to care for K-12 students
Hazel services are offered with $0 patient responsibility for all students through the 2020-21 school year for at-home or in-school doctor visits, due to these unprecedented times. Get in touch with us to learn more.
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.