Today, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller announced the Ontario government is investing $2.9 million to expand the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program in Parry Sound District. This initiative will help more seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe while living in the comfort of their own homes for longer.
“This is great news for our seniors in communities all across Parry Sound District,” said Miller. “Our seniors will benefit by being able to stay in their own homes longer, it will take some of the load off of their families and loved ones and some pressure off our hospital. This will be particularly helpful for the seniors in communities that are struggling to attract new doctors.”
Miller was joined at the announcement by Jamie McGarvey, Mayor of the Town of Parry Sound; a number of other local mayors; Clayton Harris CAO of the Town of Parry Sound; Donald Sanderson, CEO of West Parry Sound Health Centre; Dave Thompson, Director of Emergency and Protective Services/Fire Chief at Town of Parry Sound; Frank May, Manager of EMS Parry Sound District Emergency Medical Services; Deborah Randall Wood, Chief Nursing Officer & Director of Patient and Family Centered Care at WPSHC; and Katie Hogue, Director of Primary Care/NP Lead at WPSHC Rural Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic.
“The Town and District is fortunate to have a strong relationship with the West Parry Sound Health Centre for the delivery of Land Ambulance and Community Paramedicine Services throughout the District,” said Mayor McGarvey. “The paramedic staff are an exceptionally skilled and dedicated group of employees who, through this program, will be able to have a notably positive impact on the residents throughout the District.”
The long-term care focused Community Paramedicine program leverages the skills of community paramedics to help end hallway health care and provide additional care for seniors. The first phase of this program was announced in October 2020, in partnership with five communities. This expansion will help keep seniors safe, while delaying the need for long-term care by providing enhanced at-home supports.
“The community paramedicine program provides our seniors, their families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care space,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Expanding the program to more communities across the province means that more of our loved ones can access services from their own homes, potentially even delaying the need for long-term care, while still providing the quality care and service they need and deserve.”
Community Paramedicine programs can include:
- Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods, such as online or virtual supports;
- Non-emergency home visits and in-home testing procedures;
- Ongoing monitoring of changing or escalating conditions to prevent or reduce emergency incidents;
- Additional education about healthy living and managing chronic diseases; and
- Connections for participants and their families to home care and community supports.
“West Parry Sound Health Centre is very thankful for Mr. Miller’s ongoing support and for this significant funding announcement from the Ministry of Long-Term Care,” said Sanderson. “We are consistently reaching well beyond providing care at the patient bedside. This is one more example of the health centre’s programs and services working in partnership with others to keep our population safe, healthy, at home, and out of hospital.”
The Community Paramedicine program is yet another way Ontario is collaborating with our health system partners to provide innovative services and end hallway health care, build a 21st century long-term care system, and respond to the impact COVID-19 has had on seniors and their families.