Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)
The City of Harrisonburg Virginia Fire Department is applying for the FY ’21 Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Site Based Program (COSSAP). The purpose of the proposal is to implement a community paramedicine program in the City of Harrisonburg. In the past decade EMS/Fire, have been called upon to create programs that offer care options for high-risk patient populations (such as those with SUD) to reduce the burden these individuals have on community systems. Community Paramedicine is a concept of prehospital care designed to use paramedics to help bridge the gap between access to primary care services and the needs of the community; the extension of acute and primary care providers, and mental health (including substance use dependence) resources are made available by specially trained paramedics. The program will begin with the community paramedic team operating at a half-time schedule, with the intent to expand to a full-time program through buy-in from local community members and leadership. The goals of this COSSAP-funded program are: 1) Increase connectivity to substance use disorder and co-occurring substance and mental health disorder treatment in the community; 2) Reduce the strain people with substance use disorders, and co-occurring substance and mental health disorder, have on the health care system; 3) Decrease recidivism rates linked to substance use and mental health disorders; 4) Create a roadmap to inform stakeholders and City/County leadership on the appropriate formation of the Marcus Alert System in their community; 5) Begin determining the long-term financial sustainability of such outreach programs. Deliverables to be produced by the grant are 1) Aligned process for implementing the Marcus Alert System; 2) Quarterly PMT submissions, semi-annual reports and final report; 3) Quarterly and final fiscal reports; 4) Plan for ongoing expansion and support of the CP program in Harrisonburg and other communities across Virginia, including preliminary plans for financial sustainability of the work, ongoing training and ongoing data management; 5) An evaluation report outlining lessons learned from the grant.