Redmond Fire and Rescue said Wednesday it has hired paramedic Dan Cox to be Central Oregon's first community paramedic.

Tom Wright, retired paramedic, was also hired to assist with evaluation and data management.

Through the patient's primary healthcare provider referral, Dan will soon be providing in-home care in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.

Target populations for this service will be Medicaid patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. High utilizers of the ER will also be targeted later in the pilot program.

The Community Paramedic program will work to educate, observe, evaluate, and treat patients in their homes and then report patient health and status back to the referring provider.

"Through this close observation, we would like to provide patients and their families more peace of mind about their current health condition," the announcement said.

"By being proactive, we can keep patients in the comfort of their homes, reducing the need for costly and inconvenient readmission to hospitals to treat chronic conditions."

The goals of this program meet the governor's triple aim of increased quality care, less costs, and improved patient satisfaction.

The one-year grant for the Community Paramedic program is being funded entirely through the Transformation Funds by a grant from the Central Oregon Health Council.

Redmond Fire and Rescue has partnered with St. Charles Health System, Mosaic Medical (including Bridges Care), Commute Options, and Pacific Source Community Solutions.

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