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Canyon County Paramedics awarded Community Health Improvement Fund grant

Posted at 2:39 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 16:50:12-04

CANYON COUNTY — With the growing population in the Treasure Valley come extra needs for services in the area.

Canyon County Paramedics representatives say they receive 9-1-1 calls of all kinds with an increasing number of those calls coming from people who just need access to long-term care outside the realm of police or emergency services.

"It's just incredible to see the impact we can have with a simple visit and making a few phone calls and helping people navigate the healthcare system," said Daniel Bates, Deputy Chief of Canyon County Paramedics.

Bates says their program, Community Health EMS, focuses on patients who they call high-utilizers. The program recently received the Community Health Improvement Fund grant from St. Luke's Health System.

"One of our patients has called 9-1-1 over 51 times in the last year. Another one has called 16 times in the last year--in fact, 15 times in the last few months. And we intervene and thankfully we prevent that from happening," said Bates.

Bates says the program allows Canyon County Paramedics to extend their resources.

"Instead of having to spend more money, tax dollars to purchase more ambulances and crews and hire more providers, we can instead utilize the resources we already have," said Bates.

He says it's a way to take care of those patients who have fallen through the cracks in our local healthcare system.

Lewis Bryant, a community paramedic, says spending time with patients and getting to know their needs make his job all worth it.

"Bottom line is I love people and I want to make sure people have what it is that they need," said Bryant.

"(To) not have to call 9-1-1 to get the help that they need so that they have a better quality of life and they're living a more healthy lifestyle than they were before we intervened, that's the payday for us," said Bates.

If you would like more information, head to Canyon County Paramedics and contact them with more questions.