ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa community medicine program shutters due to lack of funding

Mar 22, 2018, 4:31 AM
(Facebook/Mesa Fire and Medical Department)...
(Facebook/Mesa Fire and Medical Department)
(Facebook/Mesa Fire and Medical Department)

PHOENIX — A community medicine program run by the Mesa Fire Department shut down earlier this month when it could not sustain itself after running out of money from a $12 million federal grant.

Mesa Fire Chief Mary Cameli suspended the Mesa Community Paramedicine program on March 1 because she “could not deliver on her pledge to make it self-sustaining,” according to the East Valley Tribune.

“I don’t regret this for one second. I am proud of our members,” Cameli said. “I think we learned a lot. It taught us how to modify our dispatch and how to get the right people to the right call.”

The program was staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants and handled routine calls, such as nose bleeds and back pain, in an effort to keep certain cases out of emergency rooms. 

It also involved firefighters and certified crisis counselors taking patients to behavioral health centers to “make a more informed diagnosis.”

The program had treated thousands of people since it began in August 2012.

The federal grant that funded the program went away by Sept. 1, 2017. The grant also allowed the department to replace some of its large fire trucks.

The department started to run into problems collecting insurance payments this month, so they started again taking all patients to emergency rooms.

But Chris Cebollero, an emergency medical services consultant in St. Louis, said he hopes to persuade Blue Cross/Blue Shield to fund services like Mesa’s starting this year.

“We are creating history every day in this new environment of community paramedicine,” he said. “I think the insurance companies need to be creative in the way they pay for services.

“The program in Mesa was one of the programs doing incredibly well,” he added. “For the patients’ well-being, they should figure it out.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Unsplash Photo)...
KTAR.com

Incoming storm likely to bring hard rain to parts of metro Phoenix rest of week

It may be time to batten down the hatches in metro Phoenix - quite a bit of rain could be landing over the next few days, forecasters said.
13 hours ago
Bryan Sapon-Deleon (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

18-year-old man faces murder charge in fatal shooting at Phoenix house party

An 18-year-old man faces a murder charge in connection with a fatal shooting at a weekend party in Phoenix, authorities said Tuesday.
13 hours ago
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Recorder's Office)...
Kevin Stone

Missouri man accused of threatening Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer

A Missouri man is under indictment for allegedly leaving a threating voicemail on Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s personal cellphone, authorities said Wednesday.
13 hours ago
(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Man found shot in Phoenix street near freeway, dies at hospital

Police said a man was shot and died in a hospital early Wednesday in Phoenix and the search is on for a suspect.
13 hours ago
(Screenshot/ADOT Webcam)...
KTAR.com

Crash shuts down eastbound US 60 near Loop 202 in Mesa

An accident shut down eastbound U.S. 60 in Mesa early Wednesday, transportation officials said.
13 hours ago
Janet Murguia, president and CEO of UnidosUS, spoke about her group's "Count on Us" campaign at an ...
Griselda Zetino

Campaign launches to paint ‘accurate narrative about Latinos’ in Arizona

A national campaign aimed at highlighting the contributions Latinos make in Arizona and other parts of the U.S. recently launched in Phoenix.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Mesa community medicine program shutters due to lack of funding