Community Paramedicine


Gregory Jurkowski, paramedic at home visit with Michele C. DiArenzo, patient

The Foundation Helps Close the Gap Between Hospital Care and Home Recovery

Being discharged from the hospital can be just as stressful as being admitted. A person can feel vulnerable if, for reasons from insurance to their medical issue, a support system or a primary care doctor is not waiting to help them once they are at home.

“This gap between hospital care and home recovery is where the greatest risk lies for at-risk patients,” Dr. Andrew L. Miller, associate chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital, Jefferson Health, said. “There is a higher likelihood of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. It can be disruptive, even dangerous, to the patient. It’s important to have connection, communication and care at this stage,” Dr. Miller said.

At no cost to the patient, Methodist Hospital and JeffSTAT have piloted a new population health initiative in South Philadelphia aimed at proving the right care, to the right patient, at the right time, that Dr. Miller believes is critical to recovery and reduced hospital readmissions. Read a Patient Profile


Methodist Hospital caseworkers, like Caryn L. Blanton work closely with Paramedicine staff

During the month after discharge, a paramedic pays ongoing visits to the patient to help with their transition home. Their skills are being used differently, from doing a home safety check to refilling prescriptions, but are no less critical to the patient. “Sometimes people call 911, but they don’t need medical care; it’s social care they need,” Dr. Miller, who helped bring the program to Methodist, said. “Paramedics connect in real time to case workers or doctors so they can assess or stop a situation before it escalates.”

The program has served the community surrounding Methodist since its launch in mid-2015 and the Methodist Hospital Foundation wanted to keep that momentum going. The 2016 Fashion Fundraiser, earmarked the money raised for the program. Dr. Miller will use the funds to not only continue the program, but to eventually expand its staff and their visiting days. “It’s a relief to a patient to know someone is on their side and wants to keep them safe,” he said. “This program is personalized care with a focus on population health, which is care for the community at large.”