Collaboration will provide care to scholars and faculty

Emerald Charter Schools has announced a landmark partnership with Cherokee Health Systems to provide medical care and expanded services for scholars and faculty members of Emerald Academy.

This innovative partnership will enhance the model of a traditional school nurse and expand opt-in offerings to include access to telemedicine, on-site diagnostic and prescription services, and referral to a broader health network. The clinic, operated by Cherokee Health Systems, is located inside the school and staffed by a full-time nurse.

“We are not aware of a model anywhere else where this type of care is taking place within a charter school setting, and certainly not in our area,” said Emerald Charter Schools President Steve Diggs. “This access to high-quality care is a tremendous win for families in our city, and while it was in the works long before the pandemic, we believe this is a tremendous resource to have available during this season.”

The school is deploying a hybrid model for learning this year, with parents having the option to choose in-person or distance learning for their scholars. Applications to attend the school are available throughout the year, and any Knox County resident with a rising kindergarten through eighth grade student is eligible to apply to this tuition-free, college preparatory school.

“The health of our scholars and faculty is a key component of success in the classroom. While we are continuing to work with local health officials and monitor the very dynamic situations created by the pandemic, I am particularly excited that our families will have access to this great benefit,” said Emerald Academy School Director Lauren Moore.

Cherokee Health Systems is a nonprofit organization that provides primary care, behavioral health and addiction services to over 70,000 people living across the state of Tennessee.

Emerald Youth Foundation, a sister organization to Emerald Charter Schools, previously launched a partnership with Cherokee Health Systems to open a clinic at the Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex at Lonsdale in December 2019.

For more information about the school’s reopening plan, visit

For details about applying to Emerald Academy, visit or call the school at (865) 249-7223 weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 4 p.m.