Social Work Students Benefit Tuscaloosa EMS MIH-CP Program

Jun 29, 2016 by


Similar to the partnership between mental health programs and EMS, mentioned in a previous NYMIHA post, Lucas Wimmer reveals the “Partnership Between Ala. Agency, Social Work Students Benefits MIH-CP Program.” This partnership facilitates a relationship between social work students and Alabama’s MIH-CP programs to provide extensive benefits to the Tuscaloosa community while also offering real world experience to the students.

The Alabama EMS Prevention Program pairs three Master’s degree students of social work at the University of Alabama with Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue team to help combine the different levels of care available for their patients. These students form professional connections between the Fire and Rescue team and other local organizations such as Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Catholic Social Services, and learn about the qualifications needed to fulfill their services. This information is then compiled into a directory , enabling the Fire and Rescue team to more “easily determine which organizations they can use when a patient needs help.”

The aim of this partnership is to target EMS “super-utilizers” whose living conditions increase their chances of needing continued emergency care, and to connect them with the proper services if EMS is not the most appropriate for them. EMS Chief Chris Holloway states in Wimmer’s article that many of their patients can’t afford their medications and that there were a “number of simple things that would help them with their basic needs.” But without these needs being met, these patients are more likely to call EMS in search for help. The Alabama EMS Prevention Program attempts to break this cycle by informing frequent EMS users about the specific resources they qualify for that can help improve their situation. Essentially, this partnership aims to bridge the gap between healthcare and social services; to connect programs that provide the basic-needs help that many patients may require in order to better care for their health and well being in the future.

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