Community and Public Health (CARES)

Caring for our Community...

The division oversees four main initiatives: mobile integrated health (CARES), mobile mental health (CRT), Prevention and Outreach, and EMS policy and procedure analysis and advocacy.

All of these initiatives and the programs helps the Community and Public Health Division achieve its mission of fully integrating EMS into the broader healthcare system to improve the health outcomes of individuals in need of non-emergency services. This includes providing the proper level of response, education, advocacy and public systems navigation. Using a combination of public, private and non-profit resources, we continue to increase access to the appropriate level of healthcare and social services in a timely and cost-effective manner.

 

CARES - (Community Assistance, Referral and Education Services)

This mobile integrated health program involves direct CSFD interaction with members of the Colorado Springs community before they need to call 9-1-1. Members of our community often have medical and non-medical needs that, if unmet, turn into emergencies, but could be recognized and solved beforehand far more economically and efficiently. The program identifies high utilizers of the emergency health system and redirects them to more appropriate care that leads to better patient outcomes. This is achieved by providing injury and illness prevention, chronic disease management education, low acuity medical response, proper medical facility navigation, and follow-up with hospital and emergency department discharge plans. The teams find what is best for the patient and our community by Looking, Listening and Connecting.

For more information 385-CARE (2273) or csfdcares@springsgov.com

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CRT - (Community Response Team)

The CRT was created in response to community mental health needs revealed by the CARES program and the awarding of a program grant from the Colorado Governor’s office to AspenPointe. This led to collaboration between CSFD, AspenPointe and CSPD to create a mobile mental health crisis response unit empowered to perform psychiatric evaluations and medically clear patients in the field for admittance to mental and behavioral health treatment facilities. The team responds to calls from the Colorado State Crisis Hotline as well as 9-1-1 and consists of a CSPD Officer trained in crisis intervention, a CSFD Paramedic and a Behavioral Health Clinician from AspenPointe. Since its launch in December 2014, the CRT has helped patients avoid lengthy Emergency Department stays, receive appropriate mental health care for their conditions, and released police and fire units from psychiatric calls. 

For more information 385-CARE (2273) or csfdcares@springsgov.com

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Outreach and Prevention

In order to reduce the load on the EMS system, Community and Public Health partners with citizens and businesses to provide basic prevention resources and help them understand their health and health care. This is done through free Blood Sugar/Blood Pressure Clinics on the third Saturday of every month; free flu, pneumonia and TDaP vaccination clinics during the fall and spring; and EMS education at the individual and organization levels.

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Policy and Procedures

Finally, the Community and Public Health Division works to engage policy makers with relevant data in order to enact system-level changes that make sense for both patients and the community as a whole. This includes redesigning and implementing procedures for alternate transport destinations (besides Emergency Departments), a response model that varies based on call severity, and integration of health resources. 

 

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