The Nevada Department of Education (NDE), in partnership with THT Health, (formerly known as Teachers Health Trust) announced the Taskforce Initiative for Educator Safety and Screening, or T.I.E.S, to promote the health and safety of staff, students, families, and communities by preventing the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Nevada’s schools.
T.I.E.S. was designed in collaboration with district leaders, teacher representatives, and health professionals, and is a free COVID-19 testing program for participating educators, administrators, bus drivers, and school staff. Originally conceptualized to serve Clark County School District, the fifth largest district in the nation, NDE partnered with THT Health to expand T.I.E.S. to serve educators and staff throughout Nevada’s 17 school districts and public charter schools. Funding for the T.I.E.S. testing program was made possible by a State allocation of $13.2 million in federal CARES Act funding.
The self-monitoring and testing program will be administered through a mobile app, powered by emocha Health (a leading health screening mobile application originated at Johns Hopkins University), to help assess COVID-19 related health risks, track symptoms, and communicate with appropriate State and district entities on matters related to the virus. The T.I.E.S. program will screen and evaluate for potential COVID-19 exposure, infection, or risk with the support of infectious disease experts, physician leaders, public health experts, and leading pathology experts. The aggressive timeline for implementation will begin this month with systematic outreach to all teachers, staff, and bus drivers encouraging them to enroll using the emocha Health mobile app.
“On behalf of Nevada’s educators, administrators, and staff, I want to thank Governor Sisolak and the Legislature for their investment in this tremendous resource” said Jhone Ebert, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “We are so pleased that all of our school staff, including bus drivers, administrative support, and others, have access to these preventative services to help keep our schools and communities healthy.”
T.I.E.S. will help ensure that educators, staff, students, and their families have confidence that systems are in place to prevent and track exposure in our schools. “We know that the creation of an affordable, value-based health care program such as this one is a tremendous commitment, but when sheltering in place became real last March, we committed and proactively began working with our local leaders, including the Nevada Department of Education, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Association of School Superintendents, and our healthcare partners to develop a testing program and related services to support teachers and school staff,” said Michael Skolnik, Chief Executive Officer of THT Health. “We are grateful for the partnership of NDE and for the State’s investment in this timely and critical need.”
With an unknown timeline for a safe and scientifically accepted COVID-19 vaccine, the T.I.E.S. coalition will continue to monitor and assess active COVID-19 exposure, infection, partial immunity, or assumed risk based on symptoms. T.I.E.S. will work collaboratively with State and local governments to update and modify the testing and screening approach to take full advantage of proven and innovative methods as they become available.
About T.I.E.S., a Taskforce Initiative for Educator Safety and Screening Coalition:
A coalition of partners to support schools for a safe reopening. T.I.E.S. (Taskforce Initiative for Educator Safety and Screening) is a program developed and administered by Teachers Health Trust (THT) to facilitate school reopening, COVID testing, and symptoms monitoring through a comprehensive, evidence-based, and agile approach. Our goal is to minimize risk and keep teachers, faculty, staff, and students as safe as possible throughout the state of Nevada. A clinical and evidence-based plan teachers and staff to return to school as we screen, stratify, and evaluate their COVID-19 exposure, infection, or potential risk by collaboratively working with infectious disease experts, physician leaders, public health experts, and leading pathology experts.
About THT Health (Teachers Health Trust):
THT Health (formerly known as Teachers Health Trust) is the health plan for all teachers and licensed professionals of the Clark County School District in Southern Nevada. Established in 1983 and servicing 40,000+ lives, our transformed mission focuses on delivering the best healthcare at affordable costs to a deserving community. In 2019, under new leadership, Teachers Health Trust had to develop an unprecedented model for the teachers by thinking out-of-the-box while also embracing a 30,000-foot lens for how this new model can effectively impact healthcare nationwide. In one year, THT reinvented and transformed the organization & its mission with a focus on delivering the best healthcare at affordable costs to a deserving community. It believes in providing access, guidance, support and care for each member as they actively pursue their best and most positive health outcomes. More here: www.ththealth.org.