Lennox and Addington (L&A) County’s Community Paramedic Program has been officially launched, following confirmation from the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care (MoLTC) of $2.5M in one-time funding to be provided between now and March 2024 and $365K from the Ministry of Health (MoH) for 2022-23.
According to a release from the County, this innovative program, operating with six Community Paramedics (CP) and one CP Superintendent, is designed to provide home-based care to eligible seniors and allows them to be safe at home while awaiting long term care (LTC) placement.
A pilot program with two Community Paramedics had been in place in Lennox and Addington since January of 2021, with MoH funding of $365K, the County stated. County Council has been lobbying the MoLTC since that time for the additional funding to provide this important service on an ongoing basis to County residents.
A similar program in Frontenac County received funding from the province in February 2021. At that time, Frontenac County said their Community Paramedics will use the funds to provide diagnostic procedures, assessments, testing, routine monitoring, and medical treatments in the comfort of people’s own homes.
The L&A Community Paramedic program will help patients stay in their homes when their disease severity may normally necessitate admission to a long term care facility, according to the release. The County said that these specialized Paramedics are focusing on preventing further progression of their patient’s diseases and maintaining their quality of life while empowering them to maintain their independence. This is accomplished as part of a multidisciplinary team including PSWs, home care nursing, physicians and nurse practitioners.
The program will provide residents with:
- Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods,
- Non-emergency home visits and in-home testing procedures,
- Ongoing monitoring of changing or escalating conditions to prevent or reduce emergency incidents, and
- Additional education about healthy living and managing chronic diseases.
“It feels meaningful to play a big part in keeping patients out of the hospital by implementing a preventative model of medicine,” said Jakob Rodger, an Advanced Care Paramedic currently working in the program. “This is very different from the reactive practice we experience when working as 911 Paramedics.”
“It is amazing to see the positive impact this program is having not only on the client’s health, but also the family and care providers who support them,” said Paul Osborn, Acting Superintendent of Community Paramedicine, who has worked on this project since its inception.