Kawartha Lakes launches Community Paramedic Pilot Program
Registered Nurse Christina Janke discusses patients with Paramedic Julie Milne.

Kawartha Lakes launches Paramedic Pilot program for seniors

in Community/Health/Municipal/Seniors by
Kawartha Lakes launches Community Paramedic Pilot Program
Registered Nurse Christina Janke discusses patients with Paramedic Julie Milne.

On Monday September 23, Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service began the first day of the three-month Community Paramedic Pilot program. The program, which was approved by Council in February, was created to help reduce patient re-admission with a focus on seniors at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay.

The Advocate first broke the story last December about the many seniors in our area who were falling through the cracks and not getting the care they needed. Soon after, Council stepped up to provide funding to paramedics to try and address these needs.

“We’ve been eager to begin this program with Ross Memorial,” stated Autumn Campbell, Superintendent, Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services. “We are hopeful that we will begin to see an impact on the number of re-admissions and patient care needs through the launch of this initiative.”

Earlier in the year, Ross Memorial indicated that they were experiencing patient over-capacity, looking specifically at the number of available beds and the rate of patients who were either being re-admitted into their care or were waiting to be transitioned to a long-term care facility. A community stakeholder meeting earlier in the year also identified that our senior demographic was seeing the highest rates of re-admission, placing the emphasis of the program on identifying their needs during the “hospital to home” transition.

“Those who are discharged early, or who may require attention but do not meet the criteria to stay admitted, will benefit by ensuring their needs are addressed while living at home,” explained Sara Johnston, Acting Chief, Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services. “For those who are waiting to be transferred to long-term care, this program will help bridge the transition by monitoring their status until a facility is available, while also making room for additional patients at Ross Memorial.”

The pilot program, which has been allocated $25,000 in program funding, aims at assisting patients who are at high-risk for re-admission by scheduling a paramedic five days a week to make home visits. The visits will be looking at how the individual is doing from a vital sign perspective, including their level of awareness, cognitive ability and assessing their living space to evaluate if it is safe to live in. Julie Milne with Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services will be the designated Paramedic scheduled to make the visits throughout the three-month period.

“Transitioning patients from hospital to home in a safe and timely way impacts everyone needing care at the hospital,” said Anne Overhoff, RMH Chief Nursing Executive. “We’re grateful to our Paramedic partners, and to the municipality for supporting this innovative pilot project.”


  1. This sounds like a great idea but I don’t think one person will be able to visit all the seniors that could use this much needed service. I know of 2 seniors who rented apts from us who were in and out of hospital and would have benefited from this service. I’m sure there are many more. I hope it works out.

  2. As a retired nurse i feel there should of been more discussion with the public and home care nurses or even PSW doing the project and PUBLIC been misinformed cause the town wanted the paramedic to do this ..i called the mayor when it first was going to be in progress and got a negative attitude from him and said give them a chance ? They have a job and get paid well but other health team looking and seeking jobs and was given too the paramedic? .feel a bit unfair treatment and he look after the town employees.only ?…as a retired nurse who done many areas of nursing operating room,medical surgical , diaysis ,homecare , after hour clinic and admitting clerk and even done many ambulance runs with the paramedics for transferring or care of pt etc …this position should of been given to nurses who are retired and want to come back in work force but not able to do heavy work days or senior nurses but able to do assessments, give meds ,call MD if any changes and monitor vital signs on regular basics ..pt’s require familiar faces and some just lonely or confused they unable to cope or know 911 is the number you call for help and we will find many ways to help or improve their health and deal with the confusion etc ..plus us nurses have the experience and more knowledge in certain areas and dont require training etc ..heard they training the paramedic.?training also to give meds ? this project needed more understanding and who is able to do this job with miminal costs and nurses understamd and able to do any hours plus taking a paramedic out of their job which they need for emergency calls and transfers of pt’s..plus many retired nurses would even love to do it s vounteer work also …the follow up work can be useful with nurses or retired nurses or unemployed nurses or even PSW they familiar with understanding the needs and care of pt’s and aware what needs to be done …the project should be shared with those nurses who are seeking employment or even volunteer work ..its unfair treatment to just give to paramedic alone and they are getting good wages and taking them from their job as a paramedic …this light job can also be given to someone with disabilities and cant work a heavy stressful long hours etc .sorry to sound negative and yes i do care about our health team ..working over 30 years in nursing i do understand whats best for the patient and family and feel this project should at least be shared …

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