It is practiced in other regions, and known by names including paramedicine, social medicine and integrated healthcare.
Now, Manatee County EMS is in the process of implementing a pilot program designed to help people stay out of the E.R., cut down on 911 calls and be safer at home.
The Manatee County Community Paramedicine Program is being funded through an Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) partnership grant.
Partners in the program include Manatee Memorial Hospital, Manatee Technical College, Centerstone formerly known as Manatee Glens and the Department of Health.
The five groups targeted in the program include people who suffer falls, those with congestive heart failure, respiratory problems, diabetics and those with mental health and substance abuse problems.
by Alix Redmonde