Minnesota Hospital Association


February 29, 2016

MHA Newsline: Feb. 29, 2016

In this issue 

HealthEast community paramedics support mental health care transitions

Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems contributed more than $4.3 billion in programs and services in 2014 to benefit the health of their communities. One community benefit program was HealthEast Community Paramedicine.   

Field paramedics are trained to respond quickly to help people who need emergency medical care, and then move on to the next emergency. Communication and assessment are important parts of the job, but there isn’t much time to build relationships or follow patients’ progress to help ensure that they stay well.   

In 2014, HealthEast Care System decided to apply the compassion and problem-solving skills of paramedics to a different type of work – helping mental health patients readjust to their home environment, manage their medications and get follow-up care after they are discharged from St. Joseph’s Hospital’s inpatient mental health unit. Six HealthEast paramedics completed more than 200 hours of clinical training and became state-certified community paramedics.   

During the program’s first year, HealthEast Community Paramedicine worked with more than 100 patients. Social workers arrange for the paramedics to meet each patient before discharge and review treatment notes and discharge plans.   Since the program’s inception, preventable mental health readmissions have dropped and more than 30 medication errors have been prevented. Grant funding has enabled each patient to receive 12 home visits, which typically are scheduled in advance and decrease in frequency as the patient progresses. Patients can call for additional assistance between appointments and receive extra visits if needed.   

“Emergency medical services have always been about responding and helping people at times of need,” said Dr. Peter Tanghe, medical director of HealthEast Community Paramedicine. “Community paramedicine recognizes the value of being proactive in this response.”   

Visit the MHA website to learn more and read the full 2015 Community Benefit Reportreturn to top   

MHA awards deadline extended to March 2

Entries are still being accepted for the 32nd annual MHA awards program celebrating the outstanding work your hospitals and caregivers do to deliver patient care and serve your communities. 

MHA award categories recognize excellence including community health, best workplace and patient care. Honors for individuals recognize trustees, volunteers, hospital executives, caregivers and public officials. Additional information on the categories and judging criteria can be found on the MHA website

The submission deadline has been extended through close of business on Wednesday, March 2; find the entry form here: Nomination Form 

MHA will notify all entrants whether they have won in mid-April. A reception and dinner will take place Friday, May 20, at the Metropolitan Ballroom in suburban Minneapolis. All MHA members and associate members are invited and encouraged to attend the awards ceremony. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for this celebration of excellence in Minnesota health care.   

For more information, contact Sarah Bohnet, MHA visual communications specialist, 651-603-3494. return to top   

HRSA accepting grant applications for rural school-based telehealth services

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications through Friday, April 8, for fiscal year 2016 grants to support telehealth services for school-based health centers in rural, frontier and underserved communities. Hospitals may sponsor the health centers and be part of the telehealth networks.   

The Telehealth Network Grant Program anticipates awarding up to 20 grants of up to $300,000 a year for four years. Applicants must identify the clinical focus areas for their project. School-based health centers are strongly encouraged to provide telehealth services for rural children that focus on asthma, obesity reduction and prevention, behavioral health, diabetes and oral health.    

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will review the funding opportunity during a webinar today, Feb. 29, at 1 p.m. Webinar information is as follows:   

Meeting Name: Telehealth Network Grant Program
To join the meeting as a guest: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/hrsa-16-012/ 
Toll-free call-in number (for audio): 888-790-1954 (participants must call in to verbally ask questions)
Participant passcode for call-in number: 4171383   

An instant replay of the call will be available until April 29. Access information is as follows:   

Toll-free call-in number: 800-839-9140
Passcode: 3516   

For more information, see the application guidance on the HRSA websitereturn to top   

Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 13-19

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF)’s annual Patient Safety Awareness Week will be observed March 13-19, with the goal of increasing awareness about patient safety. The week is a culmination of NPSF’s United for Patient Safety campaign, which focuses on patient engagement and the important roles that patients, families, care teams and others involved in the health care system play in keeping patients safe.   

Patient Safety Awareness Week provides an opportunity for hospitals and health systems to highlight how they are offering high-quality, safe care for patients. Planning resources are available on the United for Patient Safety websitereturn to top