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The Duke Endowment Awards $290,000 to Establish Avery Community Paramedicine Program

Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital recently received a three-year grant from The Duke Endowment totaling $290,000. These grant funds will allow Cannon Memorial Hospital and Avery Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to establish a Community Paramedicine Program to serve Avery County.
Community Paramedicine is an innovative new healthcare model that seeks to provide underserved patients with improved access to public health and preventative healthcare services. Through the program, specially trained Community Paramedics visit patients in their homes to assess their overall health, living conditions, support structure and other social determinants of health. Avery EMS and Cannon Memorial Hospital will identify potential program participants through primary care referrals and by analyzing the highest utilizers of emergency services. By improving this population’s health, the program will also reduce unnecessary EMS calls and emergency department visits, freeing up these services for true emergencies.
Cannon Memorial Hospital’s president Carmen Lacey stated, “We are very excited to work with Avery EMS to bring a community paramedicine program to Avery County, and we appreciate this opportunity given to us by The Duke Endowment.” Mike Edmisten, Avery EMS Director, added: “This will be a very important program for the county. It will not only improve the health status of hundreds of individuals, but it will allow Avery EMS to free up resources to better respond to emergencies.”
“With growing concerns about health care costs and overcrowded emergency departments, community paramedicine is proving to be a promising way to connect vulnerable patients to the support and care that can keep them healthier,” says Lin Hollowell, director of the Endowment’s Health Care program area.
For more information about Cannon Memorial Hospital, visit apprhs.org/cannon.