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CONNECT Community Paramedics

A regional team supporting the patients of multiple hospitals, EMS agencies and health insurance companies in Western Pennsylvania.

Our Approach

Assess: Our community paramedics have been specially trained to not only assess the patient’s medical history and medications, but to look at other factors such as: mental health; social support; environmental conditions; financial resources and a host of other social determinants of health.

Engage: To maximize the likelihood the patient participates in the program we use a client-centered approach to our interactions known as Motivational Interviewing. This allows the patient to prioritize the issues most important to them rather than presuming their medical condition is their biggest concern.

Navigate and Advocate: Once we identify the problems, goals and interventions we would like to address with the patient, we customize our intervention based on the patient’s resources and abilities. For those who are cognitively able to pursue resources on their own, we function as a patient navigator to direct them to resources that may be able to help. For patients with cognitive, physical or other limitations who need additional support, we accompany them through the entire process of obtaining the resources they need. With the patient’s permission, we also sit in on their appointments with their healthcare providers and service agencies to help improve communications and facilitate the next steps in their care plan or enrollment process.

Break down barriers: Our paramedics and EMTs are excellent problem solvers, unwilling to let small hurdles become a big barrier to the patient’s long term goals. Our team routinely goes the extra mile to make sure patients have the essentials they need to continue on their journey to long-term stability.

Provide stop-gap support: Sometimes long term solutions take time to put into place. We often find temporary solutions to stabilize our patients until we can transition them to the long-term support services they need.