Last updated 5/21/2021 at 10:20am
We’ve learned a lot over the last year. While there’s been tragedy, we’ve also adapted as a society and hopefully we can use some of the knowledge going forward to help those in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the limits of healthcare access in our rural San Diego County communities. There are many homebound seniors who struggle to get the proper care they need and we are taking steps to bring services to them.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the County began to provide COVID-19 related services in the unincorporated communities, including COVID-19 tests, COVID-19 vaccinations and eventually expanded to offer flu vaccinations. Because of the success, I proposed a Board letter to look at expanding this effort to help reach our rural communities with more services. This could include connecting patients to primary care, conducting post-hospital visits, and expanding public health education. Also, staff could conduct more home visits focused on reducing falls in the home and providing hospice care.
We call it “Community Paramedicine” and it is our hope that by delivering services to those hard-to-reach places, we can eliminate the need to drive or transport patients via ambulance, cut down on hospital readmissions and most importantly, save lives.
I’m pleased to report my colleagues unanimously voted to explore the feasibility of establishing a Community Risk Reduction – Community Paramedicine medical services program and return to the Board within 180 with their recommendations for implementation. I’ll keep you updated with the effort and hopefully soon we will be able to provide these services to those who need it!
– San Diego County District 5 Supervisor