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Peoria Receives Regional Paramedicine Grant
The Peoria Fire-Medical Department was awarded the Community Paramedicine Grant from UnitedHealthcare, allowing Peoria, Surprise and Goodyear to conduct another pilot program. Yesterday, the Peoria city council approved the intergovernmental agreement to operate the program.
“This program aims to build a healthier community," said Mayor Cathy Carlat. “By proactively reaching out to those in need, we are able to provide the support our residents need to live their best lives; and I’m thrilled to see this program once again offered to our community.”
The grant is $175,000 for a one-year paramedicine program in which Peoria is the recipient and grant administrator. The new paramedicine unit will operate three days a week within the three jurisdictions. The project will focus on frequent utilizers of the 911 system and will provide home visits to determine health care needs and social determinants for health. From there, referrals or resources are provided to try and lessen the reliance on the 911 system for non-emergent health care needs.
“The collaborative partnership across the three cities is what makes the community paramedicine project so special,” said Goodyear Fire Chief Paul Luizzi. “Providing compassion and care with consistency is what the fire departments are known for and we’re grateful to receive this grant to continue to meet the proactive needs of the community.”
The intergovernmental agreement is on the agenda for the councils for the cities of Surprise and Goodyear this month.
“The Surprise Fire-Medical Department is pleased to be working collaboratively with Peoria and Goodyear fire departments to provide a service that increases the level of service and care to non-emergency patients in need while simultaneously reducing overall costs for our health care system, providing more bed space in hospital emergency departments, and keeping fire trucks available to assist residents and visitors that are experiencing emergencies,” said Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott.
In 2016 and 2017, all three departments worked together to establish a regional Community Paramedicine Program through a previous grant awarded by the Vitalyst Foundation. The new grant will allow continued regional service and build on the foundation established by the previous program.
“This grant allows us to continue offering important community paramedicine services to Peoria residents and to our partner cities of Surprise and Goodyear” said Peoria Fire Chief Bobby Ruiz. “The collaborative proactive approach to community health increases the level of service we can offer to those that we serve.”For more information, visit www.peoriaaz.gov/fire.