Author: AAA Staff

EMS1 Survey | How is fatigue impacting EMS providers?

Complete Fatigue Survey

To better understand EMS provider and leadership perceptions on the impact of fatigue on the EMS workforce, EMS1 and the American Ambulance Association are surveying EMS providers, supervisors and senior leadership about fatigue symptoms, sleep disorders and mitigation strategies. Please take a few moments to complete the survey below and pass it along to your colleagues. We will share the results and discuss in a future webinar. Thank you for your participation.

CNN | Rural ambulance crews are running out of money and volunteers

From CNN on May 22, 2021

Rural ambulance crews are running out of money and volunteers. In some places, the fallout could be nobody responding to a 911 call

America’s rural ambulance services, often sustained by volunteers, are fighting for their survival — a crisis hastened by the impact of Covid-19.

More than one-third of all rural EMS are in danger of closing, according to Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association. “The pandemic has further stretched the resources of our nation’s rural EMS.”

Read Full Article

ABC | Global microchip shortage impacting ambulance supply

May 21, 2021 | By Mina Kaji and Amanda Maile | Read Full Story

“Without those chassis, the production of ambulances essentially slows down dramatically,” American Ambulance Association Spokesman Mark Van Arnam said. “So that becomes a public safety issue.”

Chassis inventories were already at “historically low levels” due to coronavirus shutting down manufacturing plants, Van Arnam explained.

In order to make an ambulance, manufacturers need to first construct a chassis, or frame, to build it on.

“An ambulance chassis contains dozens and dozens of microchips — more microchips than the average F-150,” Van Arnam said.

Read Full Story

CMS | Medicare COVID-19 Data Snapshot

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released our monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. The updated data show over 4.1 million COVID-19 cases among the Medicare population and over 1.1 million COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The updated snapshot covers the period from January 1, 2020 to March 20, 2021. It is based on Medicare Fee-for-Service claims and Medicare Advantage encounter data CMS received by April 16, 2021.

View the Updated Snapshot

Rescue, Inc. | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

Rescue, Inc.
Brattleboro, Vermont
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Rescue Inc is a private non-profit service in Southern Vermont. Founded in 1966 as a volunteer organization responding to local emergency calls, Rescue today is mission-driven; providing emergency medical treatment and transportation, specialized rescue services, community education, and transportation of critical patients between area hospitals. Out of two stations, and with a fleet of 9 ambulances and 3 response vehicles, we provide timely and efficient service in our five hundred square mile coverage area in Southern Vermont and Southwestern New Hampshire.

“EMS week gives us the chance to celebrate and spotlight the care, compassion, and skill our providers tirelessly demonstrate. Through long nights, bad weather, and now pandemics, our health care providers continue to inspire. On behalf of grateful patients and families, I thank you!”
– Drew Hazelton, Chief

2020 has brought the challenges of COVID-19 and supply line shortages, but also the development of new programs including EMS ultrasound, EMT hybrid courses, and a mobile vaccination program to our community.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Rescue Inc stepped in with resources to engage in critical work for public health. In collaboration with the health department, Rescue Inc provided expanded transport capabilities; transporting COVID positive persons to isolation facilities for recovery. Our crew of medical providers staffed pop-up testing sites and have screened thousands. As a way to limit exposure, our providers were called upon to facilitate mobile testing and would travel to test a single person or a whole family in their own homes. Once the vaccine became available, Rescue Inc designed a mobile vaccine trailer and worked with the Vermont Department of Health to facilitate clinics all over the state. In the spirit of our mission, we continue to bring healthcare on the road. We have vaccinated thousands – at schools, restaurants, race tracks, and more.

“EMS providers are educated members of your community that provide prehospital care that saves lives every day. When the tone drops they set aside everything and put themselves into emergency situations to care for those that they value; their community.”
~Lee Bookwalter, EMT

This year our community is feeding us for EMS Week! Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for our duty crews are being provided by area restaurants for each day of this special week! Our vaccine trailer will be on the road all week, celebrating EMS by supporting the mission of health and wellness for our community.

“When we are called to a scene, whether it be an MVA, a stroke, or an anxiety attack, we legitimately just want to be there for someone during their time of need. Sometimes that means medical intervention, and sometimes just lending a hand to hold. Long story short, we just have love for people!”
~Zach Gilbeau, EMT

“I believe EMS is important because we are always there. No matter what day of the week, time of day, or what your emergency is, we will show up and take care of you.”
~Emily Wilson, Paramedic/Captain

Webinar | Who Was Jack Stout and Why Do His Ideas Still Resonate?

From AIMHI, FirstWatch, and the National EMS Museum | Hosted on Prodigy EMS

Who Was Jack Stout and Why Do His Ideas Still Resonate?

Thursday, June 24th | 9:00am PT (12:00pm ET)
Followed by a 30 minute session for remaining Q&A and practical tips for FirstWatch customers and interested Public Safety agencies
The late Jack Stout, an economist by training, is considered the father of high performance EMS. His public utility model, implemented in a half a dozen spots in the 70’s and 80s, transformed how communities thought about the relationship between efficiency, policy, and patient centric care in their EMS systems. Almost every EMS system in America includes elements of his design. He captured his ideas in more than a 100 articles and columns in JEMS, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, in the 1980’s.
The National EMS Museum just announced the formation of the Jack Stout Archive, where his legacy in writing will live on. The archive received the financial support of FirstWatch and the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI.)
In this highly interactive CTM, facilitators Mike Taigman and Rob Lawrence will be joined by Kristy Van Hoven, the Museum’s director, Todd Stout, Jack’s son and president of FirstWatch, Keith Griffiths, the founding editor of JEMS, and Jon Washko, a “Stoutian” disciple and highly respected consultant and EMS system expert. They’ll discuss the Archive and its mission. They will explore with you why Jack’s ideas are vital for today’s EMS leader and key for the design of EMS systems in the future.
Speakers:
Kristy Van Hoven
Kristy Van Hoven joined The National EMS Museum team in late 2018 and is currently serving as the Director of The National EMS Museum (NEMSM). In partnership with the Museum’s Board of Directors, she is leading the charge for NEMSM to grow into the national museum dedicated to preserving the legacy and stories of early pre-hospital care while inspiring a future generation of EMS professionals through engaging exhibitions, research, and programs. Concurrently, Kristy is pursuing a doctoral degree in which she is studying the effect museum programs and collections have on the health and wellbeing of those suffering brain trauma and how partnerships between medical professionals and museums can create a network of care for patients and practitioners beyond the clinical walls.
Todd Stout
Todd Stout, President of FirstWatch and the recipient of a JEMS EMS 10 Innovator Award, a Pinnacle Leadership Award, and the Dr. Jeff Clawson Leadership Award has extensive experience in multiple aspects of EMS, including in the field, dispatch, management and public safety communications software. He began his career as an EMS Stock boy and has spent the last two decades focusing on helping public safety and health agencies improve operational performance, clinical care and situational awareness.
Keith Griffiths
Keith Griffiths is the founding partner of the RedFlash Group, an award-winning communications and marketing firm serving the public safety market. He was the founding editor JEMS, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, where he worked with the late Jim Page to build Jems Communications, which included the EMS Today trade show, a book division, newsletters and other periodicals. He worked as Jack Stout’s editor for nearly 10 years during the 1980’s.
Jonathan Wahsko
Jonathan Washko, MBA, FACPE, NRP, AEMD has been involved in the EMS industry for over 30 years and has held progressive leadership positions with small, medium and large EMS systems and has worked with or for government, private, for-profit and not-for-profit entities. Mr. Washko is considered the leading industry expert on EMS system design, High Performance EMS concepts, Industry Best Practices, EMS Deployment, Lean Business Processes, System Status Management, Use of Technology, IP Development, EMS Economics and EMS Finance and is often called upon by EMS systems in crisis as well as those considered at the top of their game, in order to help transform these organizations to become the best they can be. Mr. Washko frequently speaks at national conferences, is a JEMS EMS10 Innovator award recipient, sits on various industry boards and advises EMS agencies and governments on an international basis on EMS Systems improvement.
Facilitators:
Mike Taigman, MA
Mike uses more than four decades of experience to help EMS leaders and field personnel improve the care and service they provide to patients and their communities. Mike is the improvement guide for FirstWatch and a nationally recognized author and speaker. He was the facilitator for the national EMS Agenda 2050 project and teaches improvement science in the Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership program at the University of California San Francisco. He will serve as host and facilitator for Conversations that Matter.
Rob Lawrence, MCMI
Rob has part-time roles as Director of Strategic Implementation for Pro EMS of Cambridge, Mass. and the Executive Director of the California Ambulance Association. Rob is also the Principal of Robert Lawrence Consulting. Rob served as the California COO with Paramedics Plus after nine years as the COO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority. Prior to that, he was the COO for Suffolk as part of the East of England Ambulance Service. He is a graduate of the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, serving for 23 years as a Medical Support Officer. Rob is the Communications Committee Chair of the American Ambulance Association, a member of the EMS World Advisory Board, and an accomplished writer, broadcaster and international speaker.

 

Harris County Emergency Corps | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

Harris County Emergency Corps
Houston, Texas
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Committed to preserving lives through clinical excellence, progressive medicine, and professional service, Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) is a premier EMS agency and the only Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services accredited agency with headquarters in Houston. HCEC was the first EMS agency formed in the state of Texas. Serving approximately 400,000 citizens, HECE provides 911 EMS operations in north Houston for Harris County Emergency Services District No. 1. HCEC also provides event medical coverage across Texas, trains clinicians with highly specialized classes, communicates with 11 other agencies through our innovative dispatch center and leads Houston’s first Community Health Paramedic Program.

Our organization changed, I believe, for the better. We overcame obstacles, and our remarkable team worked together like never before. I would like to thank each person involved for your commitment to our organization and the community we serve. I appreciate the work you do each and every day. — Jeremy Hyde, CEO

COVID-19 Response

Year 2020 was a year like no other. The COVID-19 Pandemic affected every person globally, and we are still living in a world of mask-wearing and sanitizing stations.

Our 9-1-1 call volumes were drastically reduced for the first few months of 2020. Almost immediately, PPE was on a national shortage. HCEC preserved resources and did not suffer any PPE shortage. Employees were never in jeopardy for not having protective equipment. Then COVID infection rates started increasing, which increased our 9-1-1 call volume to exceed any previous record in history.

During the time of significant volume increases, employees got the virus. Other staff stepped up to fill needed roles. Event staff helped fill in additional ambulances for COVID response. Field staff took a place in dispatch to help screen calls. The Dispatch Center and field staff worked together to ensure the calls were made appropriately with the right precautions.

EMS Week Celebrations

HCEC is hosting a reunion with a Pediatric CPR family, celebrating service awards, hosting a crawfish boil and hosting a blood drive.

“EMS continues to evolve beyond traditional ambulance transport. Not only do we serve as the community’s medical safety net, but we have also begun the transition to true mobile integrated health care. Progressive EMS agencies across the country are now involved with trauma and disease prevention, implementing community paramedic programs, and reducing preventable hospital admissions. EMS is a critical part of our health care system overhaul. We should be proud of where we are and where we are going!
-Corey Naranjo BSN, RN, LP, CP-C

“EMS is often the link between poor health and a healthy outcome. It can also quite literally be the difference between death and life of a person.” – Steven Nelson MHA, LP, In-Charge Paramedic,

“EMS is a vital corner of the first responder triangle. As EMS personnel we not only increase the survivability of major incidents, but we also bring knowledge to the public to help all in need.” -Blake King EMT-P, FTO-1, In-Charge Paramedic

Waterbury Ambulance | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

Waterbury Ambulance
Waterbury, Vermont
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Waterbury Ambulance Service was founded in 1971, since then, we’ve grown significantly, but at our core we are still a group of highly skilled, committed volunteers and staff, ready at a moment’s notice to save a life, or just lend a helping hand. We provide 911 coverage to the towns of Waterbury, Duxbury and parts of Moretown, Vermont as well as mutual aid to our neighboring communities. Waterbury Ambulance provide interfacility transfers when we have the staff available. We have two ambulances, 15 advanced EMTs, 19 Emergency Medical Technicians, and four drivers. We also provide CPR, First Aid, Car Seat Fitting and Stop the Bleed Trainings.

Waterbury Ambulance also supports The Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team which was founded in 2002, in order to lead the search and rescue of patients injured or lost in areas of Vermont where an ambulance is not able to readily access. Waterbury Backcountry Rescue Team is composed of a specially trained crew of rescuers and EMTs, who locate, extricate, and field treat patients, bringing them to an area which can be accessed by ambulance.

“This year has been a remarkable one. I am inspired by the way Waterbury Ambulance’s Team has stepped up in uncertain times to ensure the safety of themselves and our community”
–Mark Podgwaite, Executive Director

Covid-19 impacted Waterbury Ambulance by initially creating additional training and safety requirements. The team responded quickly ensuring that we provide the best possible care to our community during a scary time. The State of Vermont reached out to Waterbury Ambulance asking if we could support the state in Covid-19 testing. Waterbury Ambulance rose to the occasion by teaming up with two other ambulance services and a local ski patrol to provide testing 7 days a week at three different locations throughout our region. To date Waterbury Ambulance has provided tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests to the community. Waterbury Ambulance then hit the road providing vaccines to home-bound Vermonters. We have also helped the State of Vermont staff vaccine clinics and National Guard Clinics.

“EMS is so vitally important because we provide frontline medical care for our communities of neighbors, family, friends, colleagues and even those we haven’t met yet. We do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Whether it’s a car crash with injuries, heart attack, overdose, or a pandemic, our communities depend on us to jump in and give the best care possible at any moment’s notice.” -Kristen Hamel, AEMT

“I believe that EMS is vital because we all need someone in our times of need to be that outside person to be kind, caring, and compassionate to our personal emergencies. Someone to validate our physical & emotional pain/suffering/ distress. Someone who you can trust with your life to get you the care you need, advocative for you, and ease your worries.” -Vicki Fielding, AEMT

Waterbury Ambulance is celebrating EMS week by supporting and providing Vaccination clinics around the state, covering 911 calls and providing 7-day a week Covid testing.

“EMS plays a key role into the prevention of death and disease processes in a community. The stronger the EMS organization, the better the community can grow and flourish” -Tom Leeman, AEMT

“EMS is important to me because we as ems providers are a small light at the beginning of a very dark tunnel for some people” -Kayla Reed, Driver/Future EMT

 

Microchip Shortage to Affect Ambulance Supply

From the American Ambulance Association & The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) Ground Vehicle Standards

By Mark Van Arnam, Administrator, CAAS GVS

A global semiconductor shortage is crippling the production of motor vehicles both in the US and worldwide.  Ford Motor Company, which supplies approximately 70% of the ambulance chassis used in the US, shut down production at various plants that produce the E series, T series, and F series ambulance chassis in mid-April.  These scheduled shutdowns continue and are already approaching the 6 to 7-week mark.  The end is not yet in sight, with the shortage of the critical microchips predicted to run into 2022. Ford currently predicts an overall production loss of over 1.1 million units in 2021.

These production shutdowns by Ford and other chassis manufacturers have created a major supply chain interruption of chassis needed to produce ambulances in North America. Many Final Stage Ambulance Manufacturers (FSAMs) and Remounters are reporting chassis shortages that are worse than those experienced in the 2020 pandemic period when those OEM truck plants shut down for COVID reasons.

Both Ford and GM report that the duration and extent of the semiconductor shortage and resulting production shutdowns are not yet known and “the situation changes daily”.  As of mid-May, many FSAMs are reporting significant ambulance production slowdowns due to chassis shortages, with complete shutdowns of some ambulance assembly lines highly likely in the near future.

East Baton Rouge EMS | 2021 EMS Week Featured Service

East Baton Rouge EMS
Baton Rouge, Lousiana
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About East Baton Rouge EMS

East Baton Rouge EMS is a municipal service that originated on August 6th, 1982. The Department is funded by a property tax and insurance billing. EBREMS is the primary ALS provider for the parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Unlike most systems, all 911 calls in the parish are first answered by EBREMS Medics. East Baton Rouge Parish is 456sq/mi and is comprised of the City of Baton Rouge and the towns of Zachary, Baker and Central. With a total population +440,000, East Baton Rouge is the Capitol of the State of Louisiana and is the home of two major Universities.

EBREMS operates 11 EMS stations with 24 ambulances, 20 sprint vehicles, 1 mass casualty unit and 3 ASAP carts. There are 138 Field Medics, 9 Shift supervisors, Division managers, and 32 communications officers. EBREMS responds to approximately 64,000 calls per year. In addition to responding to 911 calls, EBREMS also offers Telemedicine, Event coverage, HAZ-MAT, CISM, Bicycle, and Special Response Teams. A new Bariatric unit has just been purchased along with 16 new ambulances. The new fleet will go into operation in July.

Our COVID-19 Response

A response plan to COVID was discussed in March 2020. The first order was to acquire enough PPE for our medics in the field. PPE included P-100 masks, goggles, and isolation kits. Two ambulances were converted into “COVID units” by using plastic sheeting to block the walk-through access of the units and the ALS cabinet. The units were stocked with an abundance of disinfectant and PPE. 12 medics volunteered to work on these units and only respond to COVID-related calls. The intention was to isolate the cab of the truck from the patient compartment, and limit exposure to the rest of the field by only using the assigned medics for these types of calls. 911 Operators began asking COVID screening questions, and would relay the information to the responding unit. Every patient was provided a surgical mask and the use of nebulizers was banned due to the aerosolization.

The Mayor declared a local public health emergency on March 13th. Schools, restaurants, bars, and non-essential businesses were closed and a “stay at home order” was implemented. 911 Operators began to see a surge in calls from the public asking COVID-related questions. This overwhelming number of non-emergent calls led to a Public Service campaign to inform the public not to call 911 for COVID questions. A new 211 number was utilized for these types of calls. Several testing sites opened throughout the parish, including one at the EBREMS Headquarters. Despite a large number of tests given, the percentage of positive tests was only about 7%.

East Baton Rouge lifted the Emergency Declaration in May 2020. Schools remained closed for a while, but offered virtual learning. Restaurants, Bars, Churches and non-essential businesses opened with limited capacity and mandated face mask requirements. Today EBR parish is 100% open, and EMS operation is back to pre-COVID status with the exception of continued use of face masks on every response.

“It is my belief that Baton Rouge EMS has some of the finest medics in the country and you would be hard pressed to find a better group of people to work with. Their dedication and professionalism through this last year’s pandemic has been nothing short of impressive. They care for their patients and their fellow first responders and treat them like family. It is an honor to work with all the medics here in Baton Rouge, and they deserve recognitions for the hard job that they do.”
-Chad Guillot
EMS Director
East Baton Rouge Parish EMS

How We Celebrate EMS Week

Every year our Public Information Officers work hard to promote the Department by doing interviews on Morning News shows, Submitting stories to the newspaper, and posting on Social Media. Our Paramedic Association purchases EMS Week gifts for the employees and also funds the annual Award Ceremony that is always held during EMS Week. The Administration Department provides lunch to the crews on each shift, and local hospitals also provide snacks and food at their hospitals for the field medics.

“We are a family-oriented department, and we treat the community like our own”
-Hillary Duncan, Paramedic

“We strive to meet the goals of our mission statement and continually adapt to fulfill the needs of our community”
-Otha Henry, Training Officer

“As EMS providers we value our community”
-Kerri Avara, Unit Commander

Allina Health EMS | EMS Week 2021 Featured Service

Allina Health EMS
St. Paul, Minnesota
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Founded in 1920, the 600+ employees of Allina Health EMS serves over one million citizens in the communities surrounding the Minneapolis/St. Paul vicinity with 911, Critical Care and Interfacility transports. In addition, we provide Community Paramedics, Tactical Paramedics, EMS Education and Special Event support to the communities we serve. Our Communications Center answers one in ten 911 calls throughout the state of Minnesota, not only providing dispatching services for Allina Health EMS, but other EMS services throughout the state.

Our staff rose (and continues to rise) to the challenges that COVID-19 presents to us. Some parted with facial hair! The collaboration was evident when staff helped to inform our processes and procedures for PPE and communication at the beginning of COVID-19. Each day we were learning something new, whether it was PPE procedures, hospital information such as entrance and transfer of patient care changes or services available to support our essential working employees. Our Communications Center began revising questions asked of our 911 callers to help determine potential risks prior to the arrival of our ambulance crew and to inform the level of PPE needed. Whether it was a 911 response or an interfacility transfer, we continued to improve our processes so our staff was protected and prepared when responding to our patients.
Our Education department tested and transitioned to online platforms for continued internal education and our external educators came into the bases to provide Just in Time Training (JITT) to our staff so the practical application of equipment and PPE changes were able to be understood and practiced prior to use. Our EMS maintenance and inventory technicians helped to implement changes to our ambulances to protect both patients and staff from the virus through protective devices and the task of keeping up with equipment and stocking changes.

Our Emergency Operations Center strived to provide timely updates and information, which we did in traditional written and email form. In addition, to support a mobile and 24/7 workforce, we used technology to provide information through videos and update posts via a closed social media group for our employees.

During the start of the pandemic, a significant event took place in our area. We supported our local EMS and Public Safety partners as we experienced civil unrest as a result of the death of George Floyd. This time was demanding physically pandemic, the unrest and the summer increased our responses and it was emotionally demanding as we saw the toll both of these events took on our staff and our communities.

While COVID became a part of our regular responses, we moved into 2021 and experienced a workplace shooting at one of our clinics that our EMS staff responds to on a regular basis. The response to this event, the level of teamwork and dedication of our staff to providing exceptional care, highlights what makes Allina Health EMS one of the leaders in Minnesota EMS.

“Allina Health EMS providers show up everyday to be ready to respond to the needs of their community, whether it is a multi-vehicle crash on the freeway, a cardiac arrest of a grandparent or a new mom who is just scared and needs reassurance that her baby is okay. Our providers go above and beyond each day to take exceptional care of their patients and their communities. We are proud of everyone who supports the care of our communities and are looking forward to celebrating EMS Week 2021 with the team.” Susan Long, Vice President of Operations

EMS is important on many levels, but being there during a critical time of someone’s life is the most important to me. Being there to providing that voice of comfort to those who really need it, is the most rewarding part of all.
Kymberly Markgraf, EMT

Courage is being scared to death, but jumping in anyway. or Success is knowing another has breathed easier because of your help.
Kelly Pischke, Paramedic

EMS Week Celebrations

Food and fellowship are the highlights of this year’s EMS Week at Allina Health EMS! Physical distancing guidelines prevented us from having our typical EMS gatherings last year and hampered our ability to celebrate our Centennial Year of Service. We are looking forward to recognizing our staff in everyday interaction but especially during their week with safety measures in place during meals and activities during the week

NHTSA EMS.gov | EMS Week Video

From NHTSA’s Office of EMS on May 17, 2021

This week, May 16-22, 2021, we once again recognize the people of EMS by celebrating National EMS Week. We hope you’ll take a minute to watch this special message from the entire team here at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS.


This year’s EMS Week theme, “This is EMS: Caring for our Communities,” couldn’t be more appropriate. The past year has been a challenge, but it has also reminded people across the nation just how valuable emergency medical services systems—and most important, clinicians—are to our communities. This nation is in debt to all of the EMS clinicians and the people behind the scenes who show up every day with true professionalism and dedication.

From all of us here at the Office of EMS, NHTSA, and the Department of Transportation: Thank you.

St. Charles County Ambulance District | EMS Week 2021 Featured Service

St. Charles County Ambulance District
St. Peters, Missouri
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St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) began operations in 1975 with three ambulances covering a largely rural 592 square mile service area. Over the past 45 years, the community has grown considerably; today, the population eclipses 400,000 residents. SCCAD, which currently employs 195 full-time staff and 70 part-time employees, has kept pace with the growth, adding stations and ambulances in strategic locations to ensure that response times to 911 emergencies remain short. The District currently staffs 19 advanced life support units from 16 stations serving all municipalities and unincorporated areas of the county. In addition to 911 response, SCCAD offers non-emergency inter-facility transport, which is staffed separately from the 911 division. In 2019, the District implemented a successful critical care ground transport program to help high-acuity patients get from our county’s community hospitals to the larger healthcare centers in St. Louis city and county.

Over the past decade, SCCAD has developed and implemented a number of innovative initiatives to better meet the evolving healthcare needs of our community. These include a multi-faceted Mobile Integrated Health (community paramedic) program, which focuses on readmission avoidance in partnership with several hospitals in our area, and SCCAD high-utilization patients identified by our paramedics. In addition, the MIH team collaborates with commercial insurers to offer services to their patients in the county. Also developed in recent years was the American Ambulance Association AMBY award-winning Substance Use Recovery Response Team, which sees specially-trained paramedics helping facilitate overdose patients’ entry into treatment programs if they’re willing to seek help. In 2018, the District launched a successful behavioral health telemedicine program in partnership with Behavioral Health Response. Most recently, SCCAD was one of only three EMS organizations in the state of Missouri selected to pilot the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Emergency Triage, Treat & Transport (ET3) program.

While COVID-19 most certainly presented operational challenges, it also offered EMS providers an opportunity to showcase our industry’s collective ability to adapt in the face of adverse conditions, and develop innovative, mission-driven solutions to meet the mobile health needs of the communities we serve.

From the onset, SCCAD embraced the challenge, working to develop strategies that would meet the needs of our employees, fellow first responders, and the community at large. To this end, our leadership team has worked in tandem with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health. Our Deputy Chiefs of Operations and Special Operations were added to the County’s incident command structure, and worked out of the County’s EOC to ensure a coordinated response. Meanwhile, our Deputy Chief Medical Officer worked tirelessly to develop aggressive contract tracing and quarantine procedures to ensure the safety of our team members, and worked to regularly push updated information out to crews. Under his direction, our training team spent time carefully reviewing donning/doffing and other safety protocols with team members.

In spring of last year, St. Charles County, like most other communities, struggled to scale up COVID-19 testing processes to meet demand. Residents experiencing symptoms were at times unable to get appointments for several days. Given the number of potential exposures that could result from a single infected paramedic, firefighter, or police officer, SCCAD’s MIH Team launched their first effort: a first responder testing program. The testing site enabled local police and fire agencies, along with SCCAD employees, to obtain a testing appointment in an expedited fashion. When local partners added more testing capacity toward autumn, we were able to scale down the testing effort.

Around the same time, Pfizer and Moderna began announcing initial success in clinical trials with their vaccines. With signs pointing toward emergency use authorization being granted by the FDA before year-end, the SCCAD team once again began strategizing on ways to make an impact. In conference with Public Health, it was determined that we would initially take point on first responder vaccinations, then move into other segments of the population while concurrently assisting with large-scale vaccination events being hosted by Public Health. Some of the vulnerable populations we’ve vaccinated have included elderly citizens residing at independent living senior apartments, homebound individuals, and those residing in rural areas of our county.

Though the past 14 months have been a stressful, challenging time, they’ve also shed a spotlight on the strength, determination, and character of many within our industry. In communities large and small across our state and nation, EMS is playing a critical role in getting things back to normal.

“Each and every day, our team of skilled professionals embody our values of dedication, compassion, accountability, integrity and respect. Through interactions on 911 calls, non-emergency transfers, and community safety programs, they are promoting best practices to integrated, community healthcare and enhancing the reputation not only of our organization, but also of the EMS industry.”
Kelly Cope, Chief

“Today’s healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, and paramedics are increasingly being relied upon to deliver the right treatment at the right place, time, and cost. Our team has risen to the occasion, developing and implementing several unique programs to address the unique needs of our community in recent years.”
Dave Lewis, Assistant Chief of Administration

“As is the case in many communities, our paramedics frequently find themselves serving not only a clinical role, but also one of counseling/social services. Our team has helped members of our community navigate everything from bed bug infestations to food instability. No matter the circumstances, patient advocacy is a critical role fulfilled by EMS.”
Kimberlyn Tihen, Mobile Integrated Health Division Captain

“EMS plays an important role in communities every day, but that role is heightened during significant and/or unique events. We’re relied upon to be part of the overall solution, projecting a sense of calm and reassurance. I’m grateful to work for an organization that invests heavily in training and equipment for these unique scenarios, giving me the tools I need to serve residents when the need arises.”
Rees Remington, Battalion Chief

To celebrate EMS Week, we’re patronizing a local small business in our community to show our appreciation to the paramedics and support staff of SCCAD. Prados, an upscale locally-owned Mexican cantina located within our community, will be preparing meal kits on May 17, 19 and 21 so each of our crews can enjoy a handcrafted lunch. Our leadership team will report to Prados at 11 a.m. on each of the aforementioned days, and will deliver the kits to our 16 stations across the county. Of course, our training, service center, maintenance, administration and other non-clinical team members are included.

In addition, we’ll be utilizing our social media feeds to highlight EMS Week and the work of our team.

Presidential Proclamation for EMS Week 2021

From Whitehouse.gov’s Briefing Room on Presidential Actions

A Proclamation on Emergency Medical Services Week, 2021

Every day, in communities across the country, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers put themselves on the line to save lives, safeguard dangerous situations, and deliver hope to families and communities in crisis.  With selflessness, professionalism, and grace under fire, they provide essential care — never more so than during our battle with COVID-19 over the past year.  This year’s Emergency Medical Services Week theme, “THIS IS EMS:  Caring for Our Communities,” honors our heroic frontline workers who provide vital emergency medical care and ease the burden of crisis for Americans in need of help.

Through service, compassion, and dedication, EMS providers represent the very best of the American spirit.  In the face of unprecedented challenges, their expertise, endurance, and hard work have been a literal lifeline for families in every community.  Whether responding to the enormous suffering caused by COVID-19, the devastation of extreme climate events, or daily medical emergencies, EMS providers — many of whom are volunteers — prepare, sacrifice, and put others ahead of themselves.  Not only do they assume the heightened risks associated with emergency care during a pandemic, but they also spend countless hours away from families and friends in order to serve their communities.

In the face of these challenges, EMS providers have not hesitated to take on new roles, including supporting COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, and vaccination sites.  To help support the women and men who do this vital work, my American Rescue Plan included $100 million to support the mental well-being — including the mental health — of our health care professionals, paraprofessionals, public safety officers, and EMS providers.  My Administration has also made it a priority to ensure that our State, local, Tribal, and territorial partners have the resources they need so that EMS providers are trained and equipped to respond to public health emergencies safely and effectively, now and in the future.

During Emergency Medical Services Week, we extend our deepest gratitude to all EMS providers.  Their courage, selflessness, and commitment are extraordinary examples of what it means to serve this great country.  We also extend our sincere condolences to the loved ones of EMS providers who have given their lives in the line of duty.  This week and every week, I urge all Americans to express their appreciation for our Nation’s EMS providers — and to bring greater safety to their lives, and to all of our lives, by getting vaccinated to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 16 through May 22, 2021, as Emergency Medical Services Week.  I call upon public officials, doctors, nurses, paramedics, Emergency Medical Service providers, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

 JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

 

 

National EMS Museum Jack Stout Archive Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2021

Media Contact:

Jenny Abercrombie
jabercrombie@firstwatch.net
951.440.6848

FirstWatch and the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) Partner to Fund the Jack Stout Archive at The National EMS Museum

Online Collection will Showcase the Late EMS Visionary’s Legacy

Carlsbad, Calif.—FirstWatch, a technology and quality improvement company serving public safety and healthcare organizations, has partnered with the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration to preserve the written legacy of the late EMS visionary Jack Stout. The partnership will fund an online archive hosted by The National EMS Museum, making more than 100 of Stout’s articles and essays available to the public. Many of them appeared in JEMS, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, beginning with his pivotal series introducing the concepts of high-performance EMS in the May 1980 edition.

As EMS Week approaches with the theme of, “This is EMS: Caring for our Communities,”

Keith Griffiths, the founding editor of JEMS and now a partner with the RedFlash Group, noted that

Stout is known for creating efficiency in EMS systems. However, his philosophy was very much about doing what was best for the patient and their community, according to their priorities and policies.  Griffiths worked with Stout on dozens of his articles and columns. “He was a brilliant communicator and storyteller,” he said, “taking abstract concepts and making them come alive with clear, down-to-earth prose that still resonates today.”

Known as the “Father of High-Performance EMS and System Status Management,” Stout developed his concepts in the 1970s to improve EMS systems by making them more efficient and focused on patient care. An economist by trade, he found that applying the science, concepts, and economics used in manufacturing provided the framework for standing up high-quality EMS systems that could afford to provide effective and reliable prehospital care.

Stout’s son, FirstWatch Founder and President, Todd Stout, has granted The National EMS Museum the rights to provide access to all of his father’s articles in a format that’s fully searchable. “Teaming up with AIMHI was the natural and obvious choice to enable The National EMS Museum to ensure my father’s work, which is still so timely today, is available for future generations to learn from,” he said. “We appreciate that JEMS provided a good home for his ideas for more than a decade.”

The National EMS Museum will digitally transcribe and catalog the documents as part of its digital library and research archives—part of the virtual museum program created and maintained by volunteers. Many of the articles are already available in the museum’s online Jack Stout Archive. Additional material will be added in future months.

“We’re delighted to preserve and share these historical and transformative articles,” said Kristy Van Hoven, the museum’s director.

“AIMHI is proud to partner with FirstWatch to contribute to the creation of the Jack Stout Archive,” said Chip Decker, president of AIMHI and CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority. “His legacy lives on as many of our member organizations were formed around the high-performance principles and practices of Jack’s work—which is increasingly valuable in today’s economically-challenged EMS landscape.”

The principles established by Stout led to the creation (by him, Jay Fitch, and others) of nationally recognized and award-winning high-performance EMS systems including the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA) in Fort Wayne, Indiana; the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) in Richmond, Virginia; Metropolitan EMS (MEMS) in Little Rock, Arkansas; the Regional EMS Authority (REMSA) in Reno, Nevada; the EMS Authority (EMSA) in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the Sunstar system in Pinellas County, Florida; and MEDIC in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On June 24, FirstWatch will host a special edition of Conversations That Matter—a series of thought-provoking discussions in EMS—to answer the question, “Who Was Jack and Why Do His Ideas Still Resonate?” Facilitators Mike Taigman and Rob Lawrence will be joined by Kristy Van Hoven, Todd Stout, Keith Griffiths, and Jon Washko, a “Stoutian” disciple and highly respected consultant and EMS system expert, to explore why Stout’s ideas remain critically relevant for today’s EMS leader and key to the design of EMS systems of the future. Register for the session now here.

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About FirstWatch

FirstWatch helps public safety and healthcare professionals serve their communities through the use of technology and the science of quality improvement. Drawing on deep experience in emergency services, the FirstWatch team develops software and personalized solutions to help organizations continuously improve at what they do. Founded in 1998, and based in Carlsbad, Calif., FirstWatch has partnered with more than 500 communities across North America to improve outcomes, efficiency, safety, and operations. Learn more at: https://firstwatch.net.

About the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI)

The Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) represents high performance emergency medical and mobile healthcare providers in the U.S. and abroad. AIMHI, formerly known as the Coalition of Advanced Emergency Medical Services (CAEMS), changed its name in March 2015 to better reflect its members’ dedication to promoting high performance ambulance and mobile integrated healthcare systems working diligently to performance and technological advancements. Member organizations are high performance systems that employ business practices from both the public and private sectors. By combining industry innovation with close government oversight, AIMHI affiliates are able to offer unsurpassed service excellence and cost efficiency. Learn more at: http://aimhi.mobi/.

About The National EMS Museum

The National EMS Museum is dedicated to preserving and commemorating the history of EMS in the U.S. By collecting historic equipment, books, articles and tools of the trade, the museum showcases how EMS has developed over the last 150 years. Through the study of the past, the museum strives to inspire EMS practitioners and leaders of today to develop new tools and procedures to provide better and more effective emergency care to patients and communities. Learn more at: https://emsmuseum.org/.

HRSA | Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Update

HRSA | Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Update | May 13, 2021

What’s New

CDC and USDA Team Up for Vaccine Education Effort.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing $9.95 million in funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to improve vaccine confidence in rural areas.  NIFA will work with local partners through the Land Grant University System and its Cooperative Extension System, a nationwide educational network that provides non-formal higher education and learning to farming communities.

HRSA COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will provide claims reimbursement at the national Medicare rate for eligible health care providers administering vaccines to underinsured individuals. This may be particularly helpful in rural communities given higher rates of uninsured and underinsured.

HHS/DoD National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network.  A joint program of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is available at no cost to hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients and struggling with access to enough critical care physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other specialized clinical experts. Teams of critical care clinicians are available to deliver virtual care through lightweight telemedicine platforms, such as an app on a mobile device. Hear from participating clinicians and email to learn more and sign up.

HHS Coordinates New Effort to Vaccinate Migratory/Seasonal Workers in Agriculture.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is working with several divisions, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Health Resources and Services Administration to boost vaccination rates in a workforce often at heightened risk of COVID-19 infection.

RAND/RWJF Report:  COVID-19 and the Experiences of Populations at Greater Risk.  The RAND Corporation joined with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to examine the way people view health issues. Researchers asked people in the United States about their experiences related to the pandemic, and their views on issues such as freedom, racism, and the role of government.


COVID-19 Resources

New: FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit ProgramThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created this temporary program to help eligible individuals and households afford internet service during the pandemic. Eligible households can enroll through an approved broadband service provider or by visiting GetEmergencyBroadband.org.  The program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

We Can Do This: COVID-19 Public Education Campaign.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced a national effort to help community partners promote COVID-19 vaccine confidence.  The campaign includes educational materials targeted to specific audiences and seeks volunteers for the COVID-19 Community CorpsNew: The Rural Communities Toolkit provides resources for building vaccine confidence.  

Volunteer to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has expanded its definition of persons authorized to give the vaccine.  These include, among others, current and retired traditional and non-traditional health care professionals, and students in health care programs.

HHS Facts About COVID Care for the Uninsured. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) helps uninsured individuals find no-cost COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines.  The HRSA Uninsured Program provides claims reimbursement to health care providers generally at Medicare rates for testing, treating, and administering vaccines to uninsured individuals, including undocumented immigrants.  There are at-a-glance fact sheets for providers and for patients in English and Spanish.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders.  NewResources for Rural Health Clinics.

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs. Find COVID-19-related funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions.  Includes information on terms and conditions, attestation, reporting and auditing requirements, general and targeted distributions, and how to report capital equipment purchases.

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, including a section specific to rural health care, a vaccine locator by state, and COVID-19 Vaccination Trainings for new and experienced providers.  NewUpdated Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccination, including new guidance for use in adolescents 12 and older.

CMS Coronavirus Partner Resources.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides information for providers, health plans, state Medicaid programs, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs and holds regular stakeholder calls to provide updates.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) website includes estimated and reported hospital capacity by state, with numbers updated daily.

NIH Community Engagement Alliance Against  COVID-19 Disparities.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) created a collection of online resources with information for communities hit hardest by the pandemic, such as African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.

COVID-19 Data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The site provides access to demographic and economic data, including state and local data on at-risk populations, poverty, health insurance coverage, and employment.

ATTC Network COVID-19 Resources for Addictions Treatment. The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network was established in 1993 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  The online catalog of COVID-related resources includes regularly-updated guidance and trainings for professionals in the field.

GHPC’s Collection of Rural Health Strategies for COVID-19.  The FORHP-supported Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) provides reports, guidance, and innovative strategies gleaned from their technical assistance and peer learning sessions with FORHP grantees.  New: The Impact of Rural Residence on COVID-19 Disparities.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning March 26, 2020 to the present.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has a compendium of rural-specific activities and guidelines, including Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for responding to a local surge in cases.

SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings for behavioral health and recovery providers.

Mobilizing Health Care Workforce via Telehealth.  ProviderBridge.org was created by the Federation of State Medical Boards through the CARES Act and the FORHP-supported Licensure Portability Program. The site provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing by state as well as a provider portal to connect volunteer health care professionals to state agencies and health care entities.

Online Resource for Licensure of Health Professionals.  Created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, the site provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing in each state for psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists assistants, and social workers. 


Funding and Opportunities

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program – extended to May 26. The Nurse Corps Scholarship Program provides financial support to students enrolled in nursing degree programs in exchange for a commitment to serve in high-need areas across the country. This year, Nurse Corps has additional funding for qualified nursing students that includes tuition, fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a monthly living stipend.

DOJ National Tribal Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault – June 3. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make one award for $980,000 to an organization that can provide nationwide training and technical assistance for response to sexual assault crimes and services for victims in American Indian/Alaska Native communities.

DOJ Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program – June 7. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make 110 awards with total funding of $163 million to support state, local, tribal, and territorial response to use of illicit substances.  A subcategory of the program will award up to $600,000 each for projects in rural areas, small counties, and tribal areas with a population of fewer than 100,000 for a federally recognized tribe.

HRSA Rural Northern Border Region Planning Program – June 14. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) will make approximately four awards of up to $190,000 each to support health care needs in underserved rural communities of the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) service area.

DOJ Second Chance Act Youth Offender Reentry Program – June 15.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make 13 awards of up to $750,000 each to support youth returning to their communities from correctional facilities.  The program encourages collaboration between state agencies, local government, and community- and faith-based organizations.  Separately, the DOJ will make approximately 15 awards of up to $750,000 each for the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program – June 15.

USDA Local Food Promotion Program – June 21.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make grants of up to $200,000 each for planning grants, and up to $750,000 for implementation grants.  Grant recipients will create or expand projects that increase the availability of locally produced food.

DOJ Strategies to Support Children Exposed to Violence – June 22.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) estimates eight awards with total investment of $7 million to support community-level strategies for children exposed to violence.  Priority consideration will be given to applications promoting civil rights, building trust between law enforcement and the community, and that are intended to benefit high poverty areas.

HUD Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS – July 6.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will make 18 awards of up to $2.25 million each for community projects that provide housing for people with HIV/AIDS in underserved areas. Rural populations are among those of interest for ensuring health equity. Also known as Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS, the program aims to create housing and service models that can be replicated in other similar localities.


Rural Health Research

Research in this section is provided by the HRSA/FORHP-supported Rural Health Research Gateway.  Sign up to receive alerts when new publications become available. 

Medicare-Paid Naloxone: Trends in Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Areas.  Previous research has found that Medicare paid for an increasing share of naloxone prescriptions from 2016 to 2018 and pays for 1/3 of all naloxone dispensed from retail pharmacies as of 2018.  This brief from the Rural and Underserved Health Research Center examines trends in Medicare-paid naloxone dispensing rates in nonmetropolitan versus metropolitan areas from 2014 to 2018.


Policy Updates

Visit the FORHP Policy page to see all recent updates and send questions to ruralpolicy@hrsa.gov.

Request for Information on Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities – Comments due July 6.  The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) seeks input from a broad array of stakeholders in the public, private, advocacy, not-for-profit, and philanthropic sectors, including State, local, Tribal, and territorial areas, on available methods, approaches, and tools that the Government can use to promote equity and support underserved communities.

Increased Medicare payment for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusions.  The Centers and Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) announced last week an increase in the national average payment rate for administering monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 from $310 to $450 for most health care settings.  Additionally, they have established a higher national payment rate of $750 for monoclonal antibody treatments administered in a beneficiary’s home, including the beneficiary’s permanent residence or temporary lodging.  CMS is updating its COVID-19 toolkits for providers, states, and insurers to reflect this change.

Medicare Guidance on Interoperability Rule Requirements for Hospitals.   This interpretive guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) requiring hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to send electronic patient event notifications of a patient’s admission, discharge, and/or transfer to another healthcare facility or to another community provider or practitioner, which are effective as of May 1, 2021.  These CoPs were finalized in the May 2020 Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule and are addressed in the recently released Interoperability Final Rule FAQs.

Medicare Waiver for Ambulance Treatment in Place.  This Fact Sheet describes the circumstances in which ground ambulance services may be reimbursed by Medicare for treatment provided in place because a patient was not able to be transported to a destination permitted under Medicare regulations due to community-wide emergency medical service (EMS) protocols due to the COVID-19 PHE.  This waiver is retroactively effective to March 1, 2020.


Learning Events and Technical Assistance

ONDCP Workshop for SUD: Rural Faith-Based Leaders – Thursday, May 13 at 1:00 pm ET.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will hold a second session (90 minutes) in its series for faith leaders in rural areas.  The workshops are meant to increase understanding of substance use disorder (SUD) and provide guidance on connecting faith to prevention, treatment, and recovery.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Betty-Ann Bryce, Special Advisor for Rural Affairs at MBX.ONDCP.RuralAffairs@ondcp.eop.gov with your name, title, organization, state/county, and contact information/email address. The Rural Health Information Hub has a recording of the first workshop for faith leaders in its Community Toolbox for SUD.

MATRC: Answering Questions About Telehealth and Telemental Health – Friday, May 14 at 12:00 pm ET.  The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) holds a live, two-hour event to answer questions about the basics.  The MATRC is one of 14 FORHP-Supported Telehealth Resource Centers.  This is a recurring session taking place every other Friday from 12:00 to 2:00 pm ET.

HRSA Telehealth Series: Learn About Licensure Compacts – Monday, May 17 at 12:30 pm ET.  Experts from the National Center for Interstate Compacts will discuss agreements for doctors, nurses, psychologists and other clinicians to see patients across state lines via telehealth.

SBIRT for SUD Native American Communities – Tuesday, May 18 at 11:00 am ET.  Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a process to quickly assess substance use disorder (SUD) in a person and move them toward more extensive treatment.  This hour-long session is hosted by the National American Indian & Alaska Native Prevention Technology Transfer Center.

AgriSafe: Zoonotic Disease and Pregnancy – Wednesday, May 19 at 1:00 pm ET.  The AgriSafe Network will hold a one-hour session to explain the risk that diseases transmitted between farm animals and humans pose to pregnant women.

Overcoming Mental Health Stigma in Rural Communities – Wednesday, May 19 at 2:00 pm ET.  The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network will host a one-hour workshop to discuss what influences negative attitudes toward mental health and techniques to overcome various forms of stigma.

Assessment of Opioid Misuse Risk Among Farmers in the Clinical Setting – Friday, May 21 at 1:00 pm ET. The AgriSafe Network will host an hour-long webinar to provide insight on misuse risk factors and warning signs among farmers.

SAMHSA Connecting Prevention Specialists to Native Communities – Friday, May 21 at 1:00 pm ET.  The Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) holds virtual trainings to cover topics such as crisis response, youth engagement, and sexual assault awareness.  Trainings will take place on the third Friday of each month.


Resource of the Week

Successful COVID-19 Messaging in Rural CommunitiesIn this 30-minute video, the state leadership in West Virginia present insight from their research and vaccine outreach campaign.


Approaching Deadlines

CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Surveillance – extended to May 14 (from April 25)

Park and Recreation Mentorship Grants for Rural Youth Impacted by Opioids – May 15

ARC Investments Supporting Partnerships/Recovery Ecosystems – Letters of Intent May 17

CDC Drug Free Communities – extended to May 17 (from May 10)

Cross-Jurisdictional Sharing in Public Health: Small Grants Program – May 17

EPA Technical Assistance for Wastewater Treatment – May 17

SAMHSA Overdose Treatment for Use by First Responders – May 17

HRSA Expanding Community-Based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach – May 18

Comments Requested:  Proposed Changes to the Census Bureau Definition of Urban – May 20

CMS Primary Care First Model Cohort 2 – extended to May 21 (from April 30)

CDC Community Health Workers for COVID Response – May 24

New Sites for National Health Service Corps (NHSC) – May 25

Native American Agriculture Fund Grants for Youth – May 25

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program – extended to May 26

Study | EMS Super-Utilizers

The Penn State College of Medicine is conducting a national study of social needs in EMS patients, particularly in regards to potential interventions for EMS super-utilizers (frequent flyers). The study consists of an approximately 7 minute online survey with questions about provider (911-EMT, Paramedic, EMS Physician) knowledge of social needs, recognition of patient needs, perceptions of possible interventions, and background information. Those who participate will have the option to enter into a drawing for a $50 gift card.

With the implementation of programs such as ET3, we are hoping to hear from as many EMS providers as possible to give them a voice in how to best to address social needs and EMS super-utilizers. As such, we are hoping you consider sharing our study flyerstudy overview from JEMS, or the study link with your employees and/or social media.

US Treasury | Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to Deliver $350 Billion

From the US Treasury on May 10, 2021

Aid to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will help bring back jobs, address pandemic’s economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong, equitable recovery 

 

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments.  Treasury also released details on the ways funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic-response needs, fill revenue shortfalls among state and local governments, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible state, territorial, metropolitan city, county, and Tribal governments will be able to access funding directly from the Treasury Department in the coming days to assist communities as they recover from the pandemic.

“Today is a milestone in our country’s recovery from the pandemic and its adjacent economic crisis. With this funding, communities hit hard by COVID-19 will able to return to a semblance of normalcy; they’ll be able to rehire teachers, firefighters and other essential workers – and to help small businesses reopen safely,” said Secretary Janet L. Yellen.  “There are no benefits to enduring two historic economic crises in a 13-year span, except for one: We can improve our policymaking. During the Great Recession, when cities and states were facing similar revenue shortfalls, the federal government didn’t provide enough aid to close the gap. That was an error. Insufficient relief meant that cities had to slash spending, and that austerity undermined the broader recovery. With today’s announcement, we are charting a very different – and much faster – course back to prosperity.”

While the need for services provided by state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments has increased —including setting up emergency medical facilities, standing up vaccination sites, and supporting struggling small businesses—these governments have faced significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the economic fallout from the crisis. As a result, these governments have endured unprecedented strains, forcing many to make untenable choices between laying off educators, firefighters, and other frontline workers or failing to provide services that communities rely on. Since the beginning of this crisis, state and local governments have cut over 1 million jobs.

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide substantial flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs—including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. Within the categories of eligible uses listed, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities. In addition to allowing for flexible spending up to the level of their revenue loss, recipients can use funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by – among other uses – funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, mental health and substance misuse treatment and certain public health and safety personnel responding to the crisis;
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including by rehiring public sector workers, providing aid to households facing food, housing or other financial insecurity, offering small business assistance, and extending support for industries hardest hit by the crisis
  • Aid the communities and populations hardest hit by the crisis, supporting an equitable recovery by addressing not only the immediate harms of the pandemic, but its exacerbation of longstanding public health, economic and educational disparities
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service during the pandemic; and,
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, improving access to clean drinking water, supporting vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and expanding access to broadband internet.

Insufficient federal aid and state and local austerity under similar fiscal pressures during the Great Recession and its aftermath undermined and slowed the nation’s broader recovery. The steps the Biden Administration has taken to aid state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will create jobs and help fuel a strong recovery. And support for communities hardest-hit by this crisis can help undo racial inequities and other disparities that have held too many places back for too long.

For an overview of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program including an expanded use of eligible uses, see the fact sheet released today. Find additional details on the state, local, territorial, and Tribal government allocations on the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Webpage.

 

EMS Week Featured Service Application

EMS Week will take place from May 16–22, 2021.  To celebrate the extraordinary contributions of ambulance services to the communities they serve, we will be featuring specific services throughout EMS week on AAA’s website and social media.

If you would like to apply to have your service featured, please complete and submit all fields below by May 12. Thank you for your service to your community!