May 21st through the 27th is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. EMS Week is a national campaign to raise awareness of EMS Week and the important role of EMS practitioners (NAEMT, 2023). Learn how Sunshine Community Health Center collaborates with our local EMS to reduce emergency room visits and keep our community members close to home whenever possible.
EMS + SCHC = Quality Care
Health problems are not always predictable, and in fact, almost always occur at inconvenient times. We get infections, we fall, we get wounds, we get rashes, and we have injuries that do not fit into future planning and scheduling. Although Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC) is not an emergency room or hospital, we often provide care to patients with acute health problems. We work these patients into our schedule and most of the time are able to manage their needs. Sometimes we find that people have more significant health concerns than they realized, and we arrange for Matsu Borough EMS to transport our patients to the hospital.
Often, due to a variety of reasons, such as lack of transportation, health condition concern, and challenges to healthcare access, patients summon EMS for assistance for what is otherwise considered low acuity problems. Low acuity problems are health concerns that do not require hospitalization or evaluation with testing facilities/equipment that are unavailable outside of the emergency department and hospital. In these situations, with patient approval, patients may be transported to SCHC for evaluation and treatment.
There are some limits to this process in that some insurance may require transportation to an emergency department and depending on SCHC staffing and scheduling, there may not be capacity for all patients at all hours.
There are great benefits of this collaboration to patients. When EMS transports a patient to Palmer, the patient has to find a way home but by getting the needed care locally, the patient does not have as far to travel. We have limited EMS team members. When an ambulance is transporting a patient to Palmer, it is taken out of our service area for several hours. During that time, others may have delays in response time. By delivering a patient locally to SCHC, the EMS crew and ambulance remain in the region and are available for other people in need.
Northern Valley EMS Stations
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911.
Trapper Creek Ambulance
If you find yourself calling and utilizing EMS for your health care needs, allow the staff to triage your symptoms. If they recommend it and we are adequately staffed, consider receiving your care at Sunshine Community Health Center.
Sunshine Community Health Center
1-907-376-2273 (CARE) www.sunshineclinig.org