Beebe Healthcare, Sussex EMS Partner for New Pilot Program to Help Residents with COPD

Robbie Murray, Sussex County, EMS Deputy Director Operations, Robert Stuart, Sussex County EMS Director, Rick Schaffner, Beebe Healthcare Interim CEO, Executive Vice President & COO, and Kim Blanch, Community Services Manager, Beebe Healthcare Population

Beebe Healthcare, along with the state of Delaware, Sussex County, and its EMS Paramedics have entered into a partnership to improve quality of life and lower hospital readmissions for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The Mobile Integrated Healthcare COPD Pilot Program, the first in Delaware, was approved by Sussex County Council on Tuesday, Aug. 13. The program will begin in September and allows Beebe Healthcare’s medical center at the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus to identify patients who have or might have potential needs around their COPD condition. Once they enroll in the program, specially trained Sussex paramedics conduct home visits.

“Beebe Healthcare and Sussex County EMS have envisioned this partnership for a number of years,” said Rick Schaffner, Interim CEO, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer at Beebe Healthcare. “I think this innovation benefits all who live and visit Sussex County. We’re very grateful for the ongoing participation and think partnerships like these are really going to make our healthcare system work more effectively in the future.”

The partnership will provide patients with COPD more tools and education that will reduce the risk of another emergency department visit or hospital stay.

The paramedics visit can help patients by:

  • Enhancing understanding of the condition, current medications, and equipment the person uses as well as how to maintain it
  • Identifying any potential programs and services that could boost their quality of life and promote positive health outcomes
  • Solving transportation barriers like finding a pharmacy that delivers or transportation service
  • Connecting them to community development organizations, and much more depending on each individual’s needs.

Robert Stuart, Sussex County EMS Director, Rick Schaffner, Beebe Healthcare Interim CEO, Executive Vice President & COO, pose for a photo after Sussex County Council approved a pilot program with a goal of reducing hospital readmissions for patients with

“We are confident that the implementation of Mobile Integrated Healthcare will enhance the delivery of care that is provided by both organizations,” Sussex County EMS Director Robert A. Stuart said. “The partnership between Sussex County EMS and Beebe Healthcare will drive positive outcomes for this pilot program and the patients it will serve.”

This free and voluntary pilot program is made possible through Beebe Medical Foundation which applied for and received grants of $31,200 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and $61,500 from Discover Bank.

For the pilot program, enrollment will be based on number of emergency department visits and inpatient stays relating to COPD. Enrollment will be offered only to those patients during their admission at Beebe. However, there are a number of options that are available to the community.

Beebe offers the Better Breathers Club every third Wednesday of each month. This support group for those with pulmonary diseases. Information on pulmonary disease and treatments is presented by respiratory therapists, physicians, dietitians, and pharmacists. Attendees suggest topics to discuss. The group meets in the Lewes Public Library at 2 p.m. For information, contact Kathi Dayton at (302) 645-3298.

Smoking cessation counseling is available to Sussex County residents by calling (302) 645-3030.

Lastly, Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a wellness program offered by Beebe. A respiratory therapist and exercise specialist works with you to improve and optimize your overall lung health and quality of living. This program needs a doctor referral but the Beebe team can assist patients with that process by calling (302) 645-3579.

“The goal of Beebe Healthcare’s Population Health department is to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for its residents, this pilot program and other offerings allow us to do that through patient engagement, education, and empowerment,” said Kim Blanch, RN, Community Services Manager, Beebe Healthcare Population Health.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people who live in, work in, and visit the communities we serve. Beebe Healthcare has three campuses: the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus, which houses the medical center; the Rehoboth Beach Health Campus; and coming in 2020, the South Coastal Health Campus. Beebe Healthcare offers primary care as well as specialized services in the areas of cardiac and vascular, general surgery, robotic surgery, cancer treatment, women's health, and orthopaedics. Beebe also offers walk-in care, lab, imaging and physical rehabilitation services at several locations throughout Sussex County, in addition to a Home Care program and an adult activities center.

For more information about Beebe Healthcare, go to www.beebehealthcare.org. To find out how Beebe Healthcare is Creating the Next Generation of Care for the community, go to www.nextgenerationofcare.org.

 

Captions: Robbie Murray, Sussex County, EMS Deputy Director Operations, Robert Stuart, Sussex County EMS Director, Rick Schaffner, Beebe Healthcare Interim CEO, Executive Vice President & COO, and Kim Blanch, Community Services Manager, Beebe Healthcare Population Health, pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations that will bring more personalized care to the homes of COPD patients.

Robert Stuart, Sussex County EMS Director, Rick Schaffner, Beebe Healthcare Interim CEO, Executive Vice President & COO, pose for a photo after Sussex County Council approved a pilot program with a goal of reducing hospital readmissions for patients with COPD.