Sand Hill Elementary School: A FLUency Success Story
Sand Hill Elementary’s Secret Weapon for Staying Healthy
FLUency is a school health program that brings free Kinsa smart thermometers to all families in qualifying schools. Through the Kinsa app, families can see which illnesses are circulating so they can take action more quickly or prevent getting sick in the first place. Hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of families have received free Kinsa thermometers since the FLUency program began in 2015.
School nurse, DeeDee Morris, RN, at Sand Hill Elementary School in Guyton, Georgia is always looking for ways to help her students stay healthy. Working at a Title 1 school means researching programs she can introduce into her school that will be a benefit to families without adding to financial stresses.
That’s why when DeeDee was scrolling through Facebook one summer day in 2015, an interesting ad caught her eye. She’d never heard of Kinsa, but saw the promise of free thermometers and was intrigued. “A lot of my students do not have thermometers at home,” she explained. “Giving parents the tools they need to monitor their child’s health at home before sending them to school is an amazing benefit.” DeeDee lamented that even when she evaluates a sick child early in the morning and sends him or her home, that child has already been contagious to other students and staff. “Keeping sick children home and preventing illness from entering school in the first place is key to a healthier school environment.”
DeeDee got permission from an administrator to apply to Kinsa’s FLUency program, and proceeded with the application process. She was interested first and foremost in the thermometers, but was intrigued by the app as well. “Even though a lot of people might not have a thermometer a home, most have smartphones,” DeeDee says. She liked the idea of being able to communicate with parents through the Kisna app and inform them about illnesses circulating at school.
Thanks to Nurse DeeDee’s application, Sand Hill Elementary was one of 100 schools out of thousands that applied and got accepted into the program. She announced it at a PTA meeting, showing parents videos and explaining how the program worked. The parents were thrilled! To get the word out more broadly, she sent out emails and mailers and posted information on the school website. By December, more than a hundred families had signed up. And that was all it took! Sand Hill Elementary ended up with the most successful FLUency program in the state of Georgia that year!
“My days are very busy taking care of children, so I was a little concerned about how much time the program might take away from my other responsibilities, but it really didn’t,” says DeeDee. “The program was very easy to get started and worth every minute invested in it – especially once I saw how much it benefited the families and how much they loved both the thermometer and the app.”
Now, DeeDee spends more time on the FLUency program than she thought she would, but it’s time she has actually offered to Kinsa: “I get calls and emails from nurses all over the country asking about FLUency and Kinsa,” she explains. DeeDee says that these nurses have all of the same initial concerns she did – concerns about workload, privacy, and more. “I love talking to these nurses I’d never have the opportunity to talk to otherwise. I’m happy to help them out because I know they’ll love the program as much as I do! It really is as good as it sounds.”
The one thing Nurse DeeDee likes to point out to these other nurses considering the program? “I definitely got some brownie points with my parents and school by bringing in the free thermometers and especially the app! Kinsa is doing a really wonderful thing for our school and our community!”
Interested in learning more about Kinsa’s FLUency program? Visit kinsahealth.com/fluency