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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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New program will allow students hands-on EMS service to B-CS

Another individual has passed away as a result of the tragedy that unfolded at the Astroworld festival.
Photo by Jena Floyd

Another individual has passed away as a result of the tragedy that unfolded at the Astroworld festival.

Students no longer need to wait until graduation to make an impact in the medical field.
A new program called the Community Health Initiative Partnership, or CHIP, will provide a way for students to get medical experience through preventative medicine — providing resources so patients don’t have to call 911 in the first place.
Student volunteers will pair up with a local Emergency Medical Service station and make regular visits to frequent EMS users to monitor their health and provide social interaction. This saves local EMS time and resources, while keeping these community members’ best interests in mind.
“The idea is not unique to us,” said Cody Blount, a lieutenant with the South Brazos County Fire Department and EMS Coordinator for the Brazos County Firefighters Association. “It is actually kind of piggybacking off of the concept which was started by several other EMS agencies around the state.”
The idea behind CHIP is to identify individuals in Bryan-College Station who are frequent EMS users and who also have chronic healthcare problems. A paramedic is sent out to go visit with them on a regular basis. The paramedic will help the patient with their prescription needs so they can keep their chronic conditions under control.
“This keeps the patient’s chronic conditions as prevented from becoming exacerbated to the point that they need the EMS system and a transport to the hospital,” Blount said.
Often, however, the problems they assist with are more complex than just helping with prescriptions.  
“For a lot of these individuals, there are psycho-social needs that aren’t being met, and the contact with the EMS agency that transports them is the only interaction that they have with anybody,” Blount said.
Blount said student volunteers with CHIP will enable local EMS to better provide preventative care to those who need it in the community.
“In this area, I don’t have the resources to send a paramedic out to visit somebody two or three times a week, but the resource that I do have is students at Texas A&M University,” Blount said.
A student’s job in the CHIP program will be similar to what the paramedics do in similar programs. They will go out and visit with these individuals to provide social interaction, assist with logistic support for helping them to arrange transportation to their doctors’ appointments and help them to keep up with their prescriptions.
 “As far as the application process, it is still being fine-tuned, but we will definitely need people who will be here over the summer, for the sake of continuity,” said Bhaskari Burra, biomedical sciences senior and A&M pre-medical society president.
The program is set to launch April 1. Any interested students should contact the A&M pre-medical society for further information.

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