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Lexington hospitals provide funds for Community Paramedicine Program

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Posted at 1:51 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 13:51:29-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Hospitals in Lexington will provide $200,000 to keep the Lexington's Community Paramedicine Program open in 2020.

Mayor Linda Gorton announced this news at a conference held on Monday.

"We are very thankful that our hospitals... UK HealthCare, CHI Saint Joseph and Baptist Health Lexington... are pulling together to help us keep our Community Paramedicine service in operation," Gorton said. "It's an outstanding program. As a registered nurse, I understand how important it is. Community Paramedicine is a win for everyone, especially citizens, whose quality of life is improved."

Each hospital had a representative at the conference. Dan Goulson, market chief medical officer, and Missy Hicks, director of Emergency Department marketing, were representing CHI Saint Joseph Health. Colleen Swartz, vice president of Hospital Operations, was representing UK HealthCare. Karen Hill, chief operations officer, was representing Baptist Health Lexington.

The Community Paramedicine Program has enabled firefighters to make more comprehensive approaches to the care of patients who have a high dependence on E-911.

Emergency run data has shown that some citizens call 911 frequently for help with chronic, non-emergency problems, like mobility. The paramedicine program has tried to get to the root of those problems and find permanent solutions.

The program started in Lexington in 2017 and went through 2018 being funded by a grant. In 2019, the city budget was tight and Gorton could only fund the program for six months.

"Community Paramedicine is changing the way we provide healthcare in Lexington, and the benefits of the program are shared by both the patients and providers alike," said Fire Chief Kristin Chilton.

Fire Battalion Chief Chad Traylor runs the Community Paramedicine Program and the unit includes a detective who provides security and law enforcement authority for team operations.

"Community Paramedicine is an important new service, and we greatly appreciate our hospitals for their support," said Gorton. "Working together, we have found a new way to care for citizens."