Chicago Paramedics to Assist Community Health Centers in Partnership with Network of Medical Homes

The MHN Paramedic partnership connects Chicago paramedics with community health centers to provide preventive care to patients with the greatest medical need.

CHICAGO, October 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A team of Chicago Fire department community paramedics pilot innovative home visiting program focused on transforming care for patients who have chronic conditions or need extra help managing their health at home . The MHN Paramedic Partnership, a pilot program funded by Medical Home Network (MHN), connects Chicago Fire Department community paramedics with patients who live on the South Side to provide preventative care to those with the greatest medical need and build healthier communities.

The first cohort of 12 community paramedics are performing non-emergency field clinical assessments on patients on the South Side of Chicago Family Health Center, Friend Health and Sinai Medical Group.

“Community paramedics engage patients in their homes and focus on removing barriers to their health care, including social determinants of health, chronic disease education, and navigating the health system to optimize their health,” said Dr. Katie Tataris, University of Chicago EMS medical director and Chicago Medical Director of the Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Fire Department.

Paramedics take wellness checks at deeper level

In addition to their regular training as community paramedics, MHN offers training that helps improve their understanding of how community health centers manage cases and coordinate care.

The paramedics put their training to use in the field clinical assessments in the South Side’s inner-city neighborhoods. They follow up with patients after care transitions, such as transport to an emergency department or after discharge from hospital at home. Connecting with a patient’s medical center is central to the program, so paramedics have the opportunity to provide an update to the primary care physician – especially for those who have not seen a doctor or who suffer from chronic illnesses.

“Paramedics are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community and are skilled in assessing the health and needs of patients,” said Tina Spector, MHN Vice President for Clinical Integration and Innovation. “They can do a medical exam and identify what’s troubling the patient, whether it’s a broken wheelchair, medication side effects, or identifying another social determinant of health. The MHN’s paramedic partnership will quickly connect patients with their care managers and primary care physicians to address any concerns.”

During the pilot program, community paramedics will check high-risk patients up to four times. They assess potential health and safety risks in the home, answer patients’ questions about their condition and treatments, check what medications they are currently taking, and help them follow treatment plans. Additionally, they are in a unique position to assess whether a patient has social determinants such as food insecurity or transportation issues that impact physical health.

Community health centers extend the reach of the safety net

MHN technology helps paramedics collaborate and connect with community health centers. The secure MHNConnect care management platform gives them patient information, including access to the MHN baseball card summary of ER visits, inpatient stays, and a patient management plan. care. Paramedics use MHN’s Community Connect software to interact with care teams at primary care clinics. Care managers schedule medical appointments and connect with providers who can address the social determinants of health.

“Community paramedics help individuals overcome barriers to health care by identifying and alleviating gaps in their health and wellness needs,” said Jonathan Zaentz, Chicago District Chief of Fire Department Special Projects. “The MHN Paramedic Partnership allows them to coordinate with community resources and support the relationship between the patient and medical-social services.”

If the pilot project is successful, MHN hopes to renew its one-year funding and work with the city to expand the project to other areas served by Chicago EMS.

“The MHN Paramedic Partnership envisions a new role for EMS in community health,” said MHN President and CEO Cheryl Lulias. “We expect this innovative collaboration with the City of Chicago to expand to other communities to help eliminate unnecessary ambulance calls and emergency room visits and encourage closer connections between patients and their primary care physicians.

About the Medical Homes Network

Medical Home Network (MHN) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization focused on transforming care in the safety net and creating healthier communities. Situated at Chicago, MHN is powering the future of healthcare delivery by creating clinically integrated, digitally connected, community-based systems of care that focus on the whole person. MHN’s innovative approach consistently delivers industry-leading health outcomes, savings, and quality results in value-based arrangements. For the second year in a row, Modern Healthcare has named MHN one of the best places to work in healthcare. Learn more at and on LinkedIn.

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SOURCE Medical Home Network

Maria J. Book