Community Paramedic Program Grant Received
Abbeville Area Medical Center (AAMC) has received a two year, $306,640.00 grant from The Duke Endowment to fund a collaborative preventative community healthcare program with Abbeville County EMS (ACEMS), the first of its kind in South Carolina. The Duke Endowment funding builds on a smaller grant received by EMS in 2012 from the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and will allow EMS to expand their current community and home-based care service.
The program uses trained paramedics to provide preventative medical care that includes follow up with patients in their home at a scheduled time to review physician instructions and medication lists as well as to identify other patient needs that could potentially affect the patient’s health. It increases the quality of care offered to the patient by providing anything from home safety assessments and disaster preparedness training, to checking vital signs and providing health education. The paramedics can also refer patients to other agencies for services when a need is identified.
“Patients can be referred to the program by Family Medicine Associates or through the AAMC Emergency Department,” stated Keith Scott, MD, who will serve as the program’s Medical Director and is also a physician at Family Medicine Associates. “Our goal with this program is to provide more personalized, efficient and effective care to patients while reducing costly emergency department visits and non-emergent EMS calls.”
“Abbeville County EMS enjoys a great working relationship with Abbeville Area Medical Center and the collaboration between our agencies on this innovative, first of its kind in the state, Community Paramedic project will ultimately lead to a healthier and safer community,” stated David Porter, Abbeville County Emergency Services Director. “With this program Emergency Medical Services will be utilized in an expanded role. They will be able to provide preventive care and wellness visits in the pre-hospital environment.”
“AAMC is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve,” stated Rich Osmus, AAMC CEO. “With the assistance of ACEMS, this grant will allow us to put services into place that will help improve our patient’s quality of care while bridging the gaps in care that often occur between the hospital, the physician’s office and home.”
The Duke Endowment, located in Charlotte, N.C., seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by improving lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children’s services. Since its inception, the Endowment has awarded over $3 billion in grants.