Reno – EMS1, a news and information website for emergency medical services professionals, has named Brenda Staffan, director for REMSA (Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority) one of the most influential women in emergency medical services (EMS). Fourteen women were selected for their work in leading and strengthening EMS in the United States and around the world.
Staffan is responsible for leading REMSA’s Community Health Programs, a result of a $10.8 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The goal is to improve early access to the most appropriate and safest levels of quality care, and reduce health care costs for residents. The program consists of Ambulance Transport Alternatives, Community Paramedicine and a 24/7 Nurse Health Line.
Ambulance Transport Alternatives is a program where paramedics provide alternative pathways of care for 9-1-1 patients, including transport of patients with low acuity medical conditions to urgent care centers and clinics, transport of inebriated patients directly to a detoxification center, and transport of psychiatric patients directly to a mental health hospital.
Community Paramedicine is a program where patients referred by a healthcare provider receive home visits and calls from community paramedics specially trained to evaluate patients and perform specific tasks. The program provides follow-up visits for situations such as post-hospital discharge and episodic evaluation of patients for whom a trip to the emergency room may not be optimal.
The Nurse Health Line is staffed 24/7 with specially trained nurse navigators. Residents and visitors, regardless of insurance status, can call a dedicated line at 775.858.1000 with their nonemergency medical questions and concerns. A nurse navigator assesses the patient and recommends the appropriate level of care.
“In its third year, the program has realized an incredible 153 percent return on investment to the community, saving $7.8 million in avoided payments to-date,” said Staffan. “These programs are effectively addressing underserved communities in zip codes that will benefit the most from such interventions.” In September 2015, REMSA’s Community Health Programs were recognized by Integrated Healthcare Executive magazine as one of the top ten integrated delivery networks to in the nation to watch.
REMSA’s Community Health Programs are changing how health care is delivered in northern Nevada and providing value to patients, providers, payers, government and non-profit organizations, as well as all members of the community in general. REMSA’s Community Health Programs rely on healthcare partners to continue to transform the region’s healthcare delivery system.
“We are extremely proud of the work Brenda and the team have done in our community,” said Dean Dow, president and CEO of REMSA. “We have seen the results of the dedication and commitment of the team to provide the safest, most appropriate levels of care at a lower overall cost to people in our community.”
In the last four years, Staffan also served as the executive director of the California Ambulance Association (CAA). She has served on the American Ambulance Association (AAA) Board of Directors and was a co-author of the AAA’s EMS Structured for Quality (2008) guide.
REMSA is a private, not-for-profit emergency medical services system serving northern Nevada. REMSA’s state-of-the-art 9-1-1 dispatch communications center is fully accredited, as are all emergency medical transport services of the company. REMSA provides quality patient care with no taxpayer support or other subsidies.