Selected Speeches

Mobile Integrated Healthcare/Community Paramedicine

Feb. 5, 2019
Mobile Integrated Healthcare/Community Paramedicine

Thank you. It’s so gratifying to be here and help unveil this project—a labor of love for so many. I thank Dr. Suntha, Chief Ford, and Dr. Marcozzi for their leadership, and, of course, Congressman Cummings and Mayor Pugh for understanding how vital this project is for Baltimore’s people.

When you have so many partners coming together in a project—wanting a piece of it—you know it’s important. So I want to share why UMB was so eager to contribute.

As you heard, the University’s pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and social workers are part of the operations center, offering vital support to the patients and to the paramedicine team, providing guidance, connecting patients with resources, supplying follow-up care and counsel, and coordinating care in a way that keeps people out of the hospital and in their homes, where they’re comfortable, where they have a support network, where they can learn how to get—and stay—well.

In health care, we often say you have to meet patients where they are. That’s what we’re doing. This is low-tech plus high-tech: community-based, hands-on education and care combined with state-of-the-art telehealth that can bring off-site providers into the home.

It’s a model that puts patients at the center of an interdisciplinary care team. It’s a model focused on removing obstacles that prevent our neighbors from regaining and sustaining good health. And these obstacles are HUGE.

We know patients want help managing their medications. It can be a complex & confusing process—and it’s the #1 need that patients, themselves, identify. And so I thank Dean Natalie Eddington and our School of Pharmacy for leading this charge, and being an indispensable resource for patients—and for the paramedicine team.

We know patients want help coordinating their treatment. And so I thank our Schools of Nursing and Medicine for delivering follow-up care—and showing how to better connect providers not only to their patients but to each other.

Patients need help with transportation to and from appointments. They need stable housing. They need food. And these needs take precedence over everything else. Because if these needs aren’t met, it doesn’t matter how good our care is. And so I thank our School of Social Work for making sure that patients are connected to the resources that underpin wellness.  

I know Dr. Marcozzi hopes to bring legal services to the team soon, and our School of Law certainly wants to be a part of this. We’re also assessing the need for oral health services, and how we might bring our School of Dentistry in.

In short, this project is important to UMB because it offers a Universitywide opportunity to put into practice what we know works for vulnerable patients. This project is important because this project is exactly what we teach our students: that you meet patients where they are and remove their obstacles to good health; that you assemble around them a care team that communicates and collaborates on their behalf; that you keep innovating your care model until you get the outcome you want—and, for us, it’s patients who can maintain their health and happiness at home.

So this project is UMB walking the walk, and that’s why we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Thank you. I think we’re ready for some questions. So I’ll ask Dr. Marcozzi back to the podium.


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