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paramedicineGrey County's community paramedicine programs will continue until March 2019. Grey County will receiving another $262,600 from the Southwest Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) over the next year to continue providing popular programs including home visitations, remote patient monitoring and [email protected]

"Community paramedicine has proven to be a valuable healthcare service in our rural community and both patients and their loved ones hold the service in high regard," said Grey County Warden Steward Halliday. "Grey County is thankful for ongoing funding to allow us to continue providing this innovative service. We're proud to be a provincial leader in expanding the role of community paramedicine in our healthcare system."

Funding for 2018 has increased which will allow Grey County to operate community paramedicine programs five days per week.

"The South West LHIN is proud to support any system improvement that enables health care partners to work as a team and provide the right care at the right place, easing the burden on hospitals and keeping people where they want to be: at home," said Donna Ladouceur, Interim Co-CEO of the South West LHIN. "Paramedics create a sense of confidence and reassure patients with their timely response and we are grateful to be able to coordinate with them."

Grey County operates three community paramedicine programs: home visitations, remote patient monitoring and [email protected]

The home visitation program is an extension of the EPIC (Expanding Paramedicine in the Community) clinical trial from 2015. Four highly skilled community paramedics work with the Owen Sound Family Health Team to monitor and treat patients at their own homes. In-home treatment can help prevent a medical condition from progressing to a point where a hospital visit is necessary. This program focuses on patients with the chronic conditions diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

"Community paramedicine is positively impacting the health of patients," said Dr. Anastasia Blake, the lead Physician for community paramedicine with the Owen Sound Family Health Team. "By visiting patients in their homes, paramedics can catch symptoms sooner and relay information to our healthcare practitioners who prescribe appropriate treatment. This not only improves the quality of life for those involved, it provides peace of mind a patient's family and loved ones."

Grey County's Remote Patient Monitoring program supports patients with COPD or congestive heart failure who are high users of the 911 system. Paramedics use special devices to remotely monitor a patient at home. If a patient's health data falls outside of a threshold, community paramedics are notified and can check in on the patient.

Grey County is also partnering with McMaster University and the Grey County Housing department to provide the [email protected] program. These community clinics are located in community affordable housing buildings. Paramedics hold free weekly clinics to check blood pressure and glucose levels and provide fall risk assessments. County housing staff provide education and other resources such as the Good Food Box program to clinic attendees. The goal of this program is to improve tenant health and reduce the number of 911 calls to these locations.

"Community paramedicine has many great applications in rural communities like Grey County. We're excited to continue providing these services and working with our partners to improve and enhance our services," said Kevin McNab, Grey County's Director of Paramedic Services.

More information on Grey County's community paramedicine programs can be found on the County's website www.Grey.ca.

source: media release, Grey County

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