Austin Startup Week 2021 Austin Startup Week 2021
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Pediatric Mental Health & Community Interventions


Ben Kurian (He/Him)
BCBS TX, Executive Medical Director, Risk Identification and Outreach
JoAnn Welch (She/Her)
C1 Innovation Lab/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Executive Director, Operational Performance
Laurie G. Combe (She/Her)
Combe Consulting, Consultant - School Health & School Nursing; Immediate Past-President National Association of School Nurses
Dr. Karin Price (She/Her)
Texas Children's Hospital, Chief of Psychology
Laurie Klose (She/Her)
National Association of School Psychlogists, President, 2021-22

Pediatric mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased drastically. Noted by the CDC, since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to 2019, there has been a 44% increase in child mental-health-related emergency department visits during 2020.

The toll of COVID-19 and the lack of health intervention by school officials, pediatric primary care physicians, and others during the pandemic are just a few elements that have contributed to the rise of crisis-level ER visits. As we consider solutions to this epidemic, including pediatric mental health care access programs, ehealth group education, telepsychiatry, and tele-mental health, amongst others, how can we leverage technology and existing resources to formulate a community-driven approach?

This panel will aim to address:
What are logistical issues (i.e., appointment times, insurance access, etc.) impacting this epidemic?
How can we leverage technology to implement new strategies?
How can we support our school nurses and other community resources?