Welcome to the Community Paramedic Program Web site. We hope you take time to learn more about an innovative program with the potential to improve the health of millions living in rural and remote regions of the United States and around the world.

It’s a simple concept: Connect underutilized resources to underserved populations. In this case, we’re expanding the roles of EMS workers to provide health services where access to physicians, clinics and/or hospitals is difficult or may not exist.   

The Community Paramedic Program is organic. It exists for the sole purpose of serving the needs of a particular community. Its success relies heavily on collaboration among local stakeholders:

  • the people who live or travel in medically underserved rural and remote locales;
  • elected officials whose charge it is to maintain the physical and fiscal health of a community;
  • health department officials, clinic and hospital administrators, who assess needs and manage resources in order to provide the range of services to meet those needs. 

Last but not least, colleges and universities that train our nation’s first responders are core to the Community Paramedic Program.   

Similar initiatives in the United States and around the world have generated remarkable results. We visited many of them. Today’s Community Paramedic Program combines all of the best practices and lessons learned from these programs. 

Once you’ve had a chance to learn more about the Community Paramedic Program, we’d like to hear your thoughts.  If you are interested in finding out how you can initiate a Community Paramedic program where you are, or have questions about the program, please e-mail me.  

Gary Wingrove, Project Director
Community Healthcare Emergency Cooperative (CHEC)

The Community Paramedic Program—A New Way of Thinking

For nearly 75 million people living in rural areas of the United States, health care needs far outnumber health care options. These communities already include disproportionate numbers of elderly citizens, immigrants, impoverished families and those in poor health.

Residents often must travel great distances—incurring great expenses—to receive even the most basic care. Or worse, they receive no care at all.

The Community Paramedic Program closes the gap by expanding the role of EMS personnel . Through a standardized curriculum, accredited colleges and universities will train first responders at the appropriate level to serve communities more broadly in the areas of:

  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Disease management
  • Prevention and wellness
  • Mental health
  • Oral health

The Community Paramedic Program adapts to the specific needs and resources of each community. It will succeed through the combined efforts of those that have a stake in maintaining the health and well-being of its residents.

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North Central EMS Institute
P.O. Box 2286
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56302
320.251.8154 (fax)
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