Lennox and Addington 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. This innovative program, operating with 6 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 LTC placement.
A pilot program with 2 Community Paramedics had been in place in Lennox and Addington since January of 2021, with MoH funding of $365K. 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.
The Community Paramedic program will help patients stay in their homes when their disease severity may normally necessitate admission to a long term care facility. These specialised 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
- Additional education about healthy living and managing chronic diseases
Jakob Rodger is an Advanced Care Paramedic, currently working in the program. Jakob said, “It feels meaningful to play a big part in keeping patients out of the hospital by implementing a preventative model of medicine.” He went on to say, “This is very different from the reactive practice we experience when working as 911 Paramedics.”
The Acting Superintendent of Community Paramedicine, Paul Osborn, ACP, has worked on this project since its inception. Paul said, “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.”