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CMH receives $1.84 million in grant funding for MIH program

Three grants totaling $1,845,0000 will help Citizens Memorial Hospital establish a Mobile Integrated Healthcare program. Part of the grant funding will pay for the recruitment and training of emergency medical technicians and specialized training for paramedics to become certified community paramedics.

The Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) program will provide in-home, non-emergency care to high-risk patients through community paramedics. Community paramedics are specially trained to provide in-home assessment and treatment for patients to avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency department and to avoid re-admission after discharge when possible. Community paramedics will work jointly with an integrative care team to coordinate referrals, connect patients to community resources and assist in telehealth access.

“The goal is a reduction of people being re-admitted to the hospital,” said Aaron Weaver, director of Emergency Medical Services at CMH. “It’s healthier for our patients and healthier for our system.”

Community paramedics do not replace EMTs and paramedics responding to emergency calls. The non-emergency service helps to educate patients after discharge from the hospital or after recurring emergency room visits. The educational component benefits patients who do not qualify for home health care.

“We look forward to spending time with patients to educate them and put them in control of their health care,” Weaver said. “We are helping people be able to take care of themselves.”

Funding sources

The new program is supported by funding from three sources:

  • $1.545 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant is part of the Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program to expand health services capacity by supporting public health job development, training and placement in rural and tribal communities. CMH is one of four grant recipients in Missouri and the only one in southwest Missouri.
  • $100,000 from HRSA’s Rural Health Network Development Planning Program. CMH announced in July 2022 that this funding would be used to train EMS staff to be certified community paramedics. This will also aid in the development of a rural MIH Network and strategically plan the implementation of the MIH program through the Workforce Training Network Program funding.
  • $200,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Rural Emergency Medical Services Training Grant will help fund paramedic and EMT training and equipment, including scholarship opportunities. It also will provide training in substance use disorders, mental health and care coordination to optimize medication-assisted treatment resources and referrals to services. 

With two CMH personnel already taking community paramedic classes, Weaver said CMH’s first community paramedics should be in the field within a year. For more information about Emergency Medical Services at CMH, call 417-326-6000.

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