All McDowell EMS Community Paramedics along with 90% of all 911 response medics have completed the NC CIT certification class.
McDowell County Community Care Paramedic Program:
Did you know McDowell County EMS was among 250 agencies in the Nation to first develop and implement a Community Care Paramedic Program? Funded in July of 2013 by Healthy Places NC, which is an initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the program has three main objectives. First assist high utilizers of EMS and ER services in transitioning to primary care physicians, to obtain care for non emergent issues, freeing up resources for acute emergencies. Lt. Chad Robinson and Sgt. Courtney Setzer, both community paramedics, work daily with elderly and at risk patients to connect them with community resources that can help improve their quality of life. Our community care paramedics work directly with the patient, their family, and other care providers within the community to ensure coordinated care is being delivered utilizing a holistic approach. The program also works in partnership with McDowell Hospital to provide follow up care to patients being discharged home who are at high risk of being readmitted. Some patients are not eligible for home health after being discharged home, this is where the Community Care Paramedic Program serves to bridge this gap. The third objective of the program is to conduct wellness events within the community to raise awareness of uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions. Partnering with a number of healthcare providers, community paramedics work within the heart of each community to improve overall health and wellness. In 2016 our program was selected as a pilot site for behavioral health diversions. When available, community paramedics respond to all behavioral health emergencies in McDowell and utilize a rigorous medical clearance screening protocol. Patients suffering a mental health emergency need immediate treatment by a professional mental health clinician. Our program provides alternative destination transport to a behavioral health clinic for patients meeting specific criteria.
Community Paramedicine is rapidly evolving across the United States. McDowell EMS is well positioned for this change, as all healthcare providers seek to provide better care for patients. We look forward to discussing more about this program with you in the future. McDowell EMS is pleased to have provided technical assistance to over 25 agencies who are seeking to implement a program within their community.
Community Care Paramedics:
Lt. Chad Robinson - Program Coordinator
Sgt. Courtney Setzer - Community Paramedic