North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) is proud to announce that it has received the Community Paramedic License from the Arkansas Department of Health. The NARMC Community Paramedic Program is one of only four licensed programs of its kind in Arkansas. Additionally, six team members also received individual state licenses.
Community Paramedicine is an innovative model of community-based healthcare. The NARMC team has been offering this service since 2016, but Arkansas just recently created an official license for the program. This outreach program helps patients better manage their health and reduce frequent hospital visits. Specially trained paramedics visit at-risk clients in their homes to evaluate and access their specific needs.
Individual licenses were granted to Charlie Redline, Gina Ray, Paul Blalock and Jason Moshier, and were recently presented at the NARMC EMS Open House. Since then Amy Henry and Jason Morris have also earned their individual licenses.
“This allows us to use our high-skilled paramedic team members in a new and different way,” explains Jason Moshier, NARMC’s chief of Community Paramedicine. “Our goal is to help high-risks patients, such as those with chronic diseases, understand their conditions and how the home environment impacts their ability to manage those conditions. Hopefully, this helps them avoid frequent hospital and emergency department visits.”
The Community Paramedic Program was made possible through a partnership with North Arkansas College (NAC). NARMC emergency medical team members received the additional education necessary for Community Paramedicine certification through NAC curriculum.
“NARMC is one of Northark’s strongest partners, and we are excited to contribute to this project for the benefit of the community we all serve,” shares Dr. Randy Esters, president of NAC.
The program is targeted towards patients who are at a high risk for readmission to the hospital, those who do not qualify for home health, chronically ill patients who need on-going support and those that frequently utilize the 911 system. Community Paramedics can perform tasks such as patient assessments, cardiac and EKG monitoring, medication reconciliation and education, oxygen and breathing treatments, blood draws, fall assessments and management of chronic illnesses, including COPD and diabetes.
“It really comes down to educating patients and enabling them to take proactive care of themselves,” says Vince Leist, president and CEO of NARMC. “Many emergency situations can be avoided by monitoring health conditions and intervening before the situation becomes dire. We want to help these patients improve their day-to-day quality of life.”
Rather than replacing the role of primary care providers, the Community Paramedics work in collaboration with the patient’s doctor and other healthcare agencies to see that they are getting the care they need. Community Paramedic service is offered on a referral basis free-of-charge for patients.
Julie Younes, a patient of the Community Paramedic Program since 2016, says the program has been a blessing to her.
“At first, I didn’t want a stranger visiting my home, but now I look forward to their regular visits,” shares Younes. “They help keep me healthy, help me take care of myself, keep me from having to visit the doctor’s office and hospital so often and really help me keep my independence. Not to mention, it always cheers me up to have a visitor who cares.”