BANNER ELK, N.C. —The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Lees-McRae College a $100,000 grant to implement a pilot mobile training program for community paramedicine in Avery, Ashe and Watauga counties.
In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide an additional $100,000, bringing the total project funding to $200,000.
Dean of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr. Laura Fero, said, “Our goal is to make this certification convenient and obtainable to those paramedics wanting the advanced training. We will be offering a mobile option where our faculty come to their place of work and utilize advanced technology and instruction.”
To begin the pilot program, two faculty members from the Emergency Medical Services and Management program will attend advanced training to obtain certification as community paramedics.
This will allow those faculty members to run a mobile training unit, equipped with a high-fidelity human simulator and training materials, to travel to medic stations, fire departments and hospitals in the tri-county area and provide on-site training for advanced certification to qualified paramedics.
The project will serve to retain paramedics and broaden the scope of practice to include making preventative home visits to chronically ill patients they already serve and those who utilize EMS services inappropriately.
The goal will be to reduce emergency room visits and hospital readmission rates.
“This mobile training program will serve both our first responder community and those patients that need assistance in managing their chronic health conditions more effectively,” Fero said.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region.
ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.
More information is available at www.arc.gov.
To learn more about the Emergency Medical Services and Management program in the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Lees-McRae, visit lmc.edu/emsm.