April 1, 2022 (Hereford, TX) – The Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas State Office of Rural Health awards Hereford Regional Medical Center a grant to establish a community paramedicine program. The program will equip Deaf Smith County Hospital District’s emergency medical services providers with the equipment and training to conduct in-home medical screenings and check-ups for more vulnerable populations.

“We’re excited to launch the community paramedicine program,” said Jeff Barnhart, CEO, Deaf Smith County Hospital District. “Our award-winning EMS team are among the best of the best, and this program will empower them to deliver routine health care for our elderly residents, patients recently discharged from the hospital, and others who have challenges accessing timely care.”

The goals of the grant are to:

  • Increase access to healthcare.
  • Reduce the number of hospital readmissions, number of 911 calls, hospital emergency department visits, and healthcare costs.
  • Reduce the severity of comorbid health conditions that lead to COVID-19-related deaths.
  • Increase vaccine trust and uptake in the community.

Through the one-year, $95,307 grant, Deaf Smith County Hospital District will receive a third EMS vehicle and additional medical supplies, such as glucometer kit, scales, and monitors, to support in-home medical check-ups.

“Our EMS team is looking forward to expanding the scope of our work and commitment to our community,” said Terry Hazlett, EMS director, Deaf Smith County Hospital District. “Neighbors helping neighbors is what we’re all about, and with this community paramedicine program, we’ll be able to do more to support our community’s health and well-being.”

The program will start with visiting patients recently discharged from the hospital to support treatment plan compliance and follow-up needs as well as address any home safety and/or living condition issues that may impact care and outcomes.