An update on the Community Paramedicine program

Posted March 5, 2022 at 4:38 pm by

San Juan Coun­ty Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal Dis­trict shares the fol­low­ing update on its Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine program.

2021 was a land­mark year for Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine and Out­reach at San Juan Island EMS. The most sig­nif­i­cant change was hir­ing a new Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine and Out­reach EMT, Ryder Cud­ding­ton, to assist Direc­tor Lainey Volk.

Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine is fund­ed through a com­bi­na­tion of grants and pub­lic fund­ing. Volk describes Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine as, “Work­ing with our vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tion through care coor­di­na­tion and injury pre­ven­tion, to min­i­mize use of our 911 sys­tem for pre­ventable prob­lems. Para­med­i­cine and out­reach over­lap at injury pre­ven­tion. We have pro­vid­ed grab bars, safe­ty poles, med­ica­tion dis­pensers, walk­ers, and Files of Life along with oth­er needs. In 2021 this includ­ed installing 25 car seats, pro­vid­ing 9 hel­mets to chil­dren, and assist­ing over 100 Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine patients on a reg­u­lar basis.”

Volk also directs com­mu­ni­ty out­reach at San Juan Island EMS, which helps our com­mu­ni­ty achieve one of the high­est car­diac arrest save rates in the coun­try. Teach­ing the pub­lic CPR and first aid has been shown to be one of the first links in the chain of sur­vival. In 2021, Volk and Cud­ding­ton award­ed 461 CPR, Basic Life Sup­port, and First Aid cer­ti­fi­ca­tions to mem­bers of the pub­lic, as well as teach­ing instruc­tor-lev­el cours­es, wilder­ness cours­es and infec­tious dis­ease pre­ven­tion courses.

San Juan Island EMS is cur­rent­ly work­ing with com­mu­ni­ty part­ners to improve AED and CPR access. We are work­ing to update our AED reg­istry so we can noti­fy AED own­ers on San Juan Island when their pads and bat­ter­ies need to be replaced.

In addi­tion to the pre­ven­tion and edu­ca­tion pro­grams Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine offers, they also assist island res­i­dents with aging in place by help­ing man­age day-to-day tasks, such as wound care or med­ica­tion man­age­ment. Super­in­ten­dent Nathan But­ler stat­ed, “The goals of the Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine pro­gram are to improve the qual­i­ty of life and health for our cit­i­zens, while reduc­ing the cost of health­care. Through Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine, we can iden­ti­fy short- and long-term patient out­comes that are appro­pri­ate for mea­sur­ing the suc­cess of a vari­ety of interventions.”

San Juan Coun­ty Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal Dis­trict No. 1 acquired Vil­lage at the Har­bor on Feb. 28 as part of the long-term plan to allow island res­i­dents to “age in place” or remain on the island as they grow old­er. Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine plays a large role in this goal, as they pro­vide at-home med­ical ser­vices and sup­plies to seniors who are struggling.

Board Chair Anna Lisa Lind­strum states, “I am very excit­ed to see these long-term goals of the Hos­pi­tal Dis­trict begin to come togeth­er in 2022. The Dis­trict has made large leaps in pro­vid­ing aging in place options for island res­i­dents with the expand­ed efforts of Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine and the acqui­si­tion of the Village.”

Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine providers are on duty six days a week for ten hours a day, pro­vid­ing back-up ser­vice for the on-duty EMTs and Para­medics when nec­es­sary. On aver­age, twen­ty-four per­cent of our calls occur con­cur­rent­ly, requir­ing an addi­tion­al crew to respond. Com­mu­ni­ty Para­med­i­cine EMTs can eas­i­ly fill the gap and respond with a sec­ond ambulance.

If some­one you know may ben­e­fit from one of the ser­vices pro­vid­ed by the Out­reach Depart­ment at San Juan Island EMS, please email or call 360–378-5152.

Pho­to cred­it: San Juan Coun­ty Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal Dis­trict No.1

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Categories: Around Here


  1. Thank you! Words will nev­er suf­fice to express the feel­ings behind them. You are tru­ly island heroes every day!

    Comment by Jaime Ellsworth on March 5, 2022 at 6:18 pm
  2. Ryder and Lainey — What a great addi­tion to an already fine orga­ni­za­tion. Thanks to you both!

    Comment by Tom Eagan on May 9, 2022 at 10:11 am

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