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Paramedic outreach seeks vehicle donation

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Medical Center (PSMC) and EMS are seeking the donation of a used AWD or front-wheel-drive vehicle in order to begin their community paramedic outreach program.

During a recent phone interview, program coordinator Becky Sproul said that the outreach program is, “geared towards bringing improved services for cardiovascular health into the community.”

Sproul said that the need for a vehicle, “is really the only loose end we need to tie up” before officially launching the outreach program.

PSMC and EMS are looking for a reliable vehicle that they can use locally. High mileage is acceptable.

The vehicle will be used primarily to bring paramedics into patients’ homes who have recently been discharged from the hospital with cardiovascular, pulmonary and/or neurological diagnoses.

The outreach program is intended to help transition a patient from acute care to introductory primary and follow-up care at home, said Sproul.

According to information e-mailed to The SUN from Dr. James Pruitt, “The vehicle will be hardwired for Wi-Fi booster capability.”

Sproul expanded on the capabilities the vehicle will have, saying that the program will allow face-to-face time between a patient and physician in their own home through the use of camera technology.

The reason that PSMC and EMS cannot use one of their current vehicles for the program is because of the high level of technology the vehicle will be outfitted with, which cannot be transfered from vehicle to vehicle based upon daily availability.

Additionally, Sproul noted that all of the other vehicles in service at PSMC and EMS have various purposes that they cannot be taken away from.

“We don’t want to bring an ambulance out to someone’s house when they didn’t call for one,” she said. “We need one vehicle that can be devoted to the sole purpose” of being used by the outreach program.

Once a vehicle is donated, the program will be ready to launch within 30 days, Sproul said.

Sproul went on to say that the outreach program will have many other benefits outside of just helping with patient transitions home.

According to Sproul, the program will provide a better picture of the overall health of the community.

By bringing paramedics into homes, all capacities of health can be assessed. Even some mental health issues may be detected earlier by having a proactive presence in the community.

The biggest thing, Sproul said, is that, “we will be using every resource and opportunity we have to reach out into the community” to help patients in need.

The program will not be able to accept vehicle donations until after the first week in March. Those interested should contact Claire Bradshaw with PSMC marketing and development at 731-3700, ext. 317.

“We are incredibly appreciative of anyone’s potential donation,” said Sproul.

shanti.johnson@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on February 27, 2014.