By Nick Sestanovich
Tolenas Elementary School in Fairfield is one of a growing number of schools to adopt new health care technology. The idea: When a student sees a nurse, the nurse can get additional assistance by calling Hazel.
Hazel is not a person — at least not just one person. “Hazel” is shorthand for Hazel Health, a San Francisco-based software company partnering with school districts and allowing school nurses to connect via tablet to a virtual medical clinic featuring live board-certified physicians, assistants and nurse practitioners– as well as Spanish translators — who can answer questions, recommend prescriptions or medication, coordinate with the family physician and provide advice for followup care. All of this is done live over video at no cost to families with the goal of reducing chronic absenteeism.