(3/2018) Mobile Community Health
I am excited to announce the launch of the new Mobile Community Healthcare Program, which will take care of people, ensure better health outcomes, and save the county money in the process.
Frederick Countyís Division of Fire and Rescue Services, the Frederick County Health Department, and the Frederick Regional Health System have been working in partnership for more than a year to stand up the program to help frequent utilizers of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The service began in late February. Truly a win-win for everyone!
In recent years, a growing number of 9-1-1 calls have shifted from what we traditionally think of as emergencies, such as an acute medical or traumatic condition, to more non-emergency calls for assistance, such as for chronic, recurring health problems. Many of the health issues our EMS system encounters cannot be resolved by a single visit or transport to the hospital.
Instead, many of these individuals need help from a variety of health care providers, social service agencies, and community resources that can work together to solve their needs.
A great example involves a veteran who lived in a second-floor apartment in a building with no elevator and who had health issues that prevented him from using the stairs. Any time he had a doctorís appointment, he needed assistance just to get down the steps from the second floor. This man called for an ambulance 28 times in one year. EMS staff worked with the veteranís
landlord to find him a first-floor apartment in the same building. Since moving downstairs, the man has not placed a single call for an ambulance. The result is a better outcome for the individual resident and savings to taxpayers by avoiding and reducing calls for an ambulance.
Last year, there were 105 people who called the countyís 9-1-1 center five or more times. These 105 people made a combined 1,200 calls for EMS service, which cost taxpayers almost $800,000.
The Mobile Community Health team consists of a paramedic and a nurse or nurse practitioner provided by FMH. The team will make home visits to help participants better manage their health care needs so they donít need to visit the hospitalís Emergency Department as often. A typical home visit might include checking vital signs, assessing home safety and the risk of falls,
and checking smoke detectors. Medications might be reviewed with participants, and physical and mental health assessments conducted. Other services or resources that may be needed will be identified and could be provided by the hospital, the health department, social services or a non-profit agency. The team will not take the place of the participantís primary care physician but will coordinate
with them to ensure better health outcomes.
The Mobile Community Health Program is another example of partner agencies working together to make life better for others, and at the same time saving taxpayers money. We are blessed to live in such a caring community. By looking out for each other, everyone has an opportunity for a bright future in Frederick County!
Roddy Road Bridge
A warning system built to protect the historic Roddy Road Bridge is working! The covered bridge escaped damage in February when a truck struck an overhead warning system designed to alert drivers when their vehicles are too tall to drive through the bridge. Roddy Road was closed for two days so the warning portal south of the bridge could be rebuilt by the countyís Office
of Highway Operations. The County expects to recover any costs from the vehicle ownerís insurance company. Two years ago, the bridge closed for repairs two different times after vehicles that were too tall drove through the structure and damaged it. The county then installed the warning system to prevent similar incidents, and the system clearly did its job!
Saving Taxpayers Money
For the third time in a row, Frederick County earned a AAA bond rating from all three New York rating agencies. Citizens can be proud that Frederick County is well-managed, has strong financials, has a thriving and diverse economy, and that we deliver what we promise.
This is good news for taxpayers. The trifecta of AAA ratings means that the county can take advantage of low interest rates. For instance, we saved taxpayers $2.6 million by refinancing some outstanding debt to a much lower interest rate. Thatís real money! It also means that the same amount of money will go much further toward building new schools, roads, libraries and
parks to ensure our long-term high quality of life. Frederick County is part of an elite group of fewer than 50 of the nationís 3,100 counties with three AAA stable ratings.
Frederick County is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. And, thatís what Livable Frederick is all about.
As I mentioned last month, Livable Frederick is a new initiative and a new approach to developing a master plan or strategic plan for the future of Frederick County. Unlike past comprehensive plans, zoning is not part of this plan. This allows us to plan and shape our future without some of the contention of past plans that often got lost in debates about specific parcels
of property and specific requests for rezoning. Livable Frederick is a policy driven plan. You can read it at www.livablefrederick.org.
We will host a town hall meeting about Livable Frederick at Winchester Hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14th. You can watch it on FCG TV or streaming live from my Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/JanGardnerExec. We want your input. You can make a difference and help to shape the future of Frederick County!