FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mayor’s Office
SWIFT Team Receives $75 Thousand Dollar Grant from CareFirst
Salisbury – Mayor Jake Day and Salisbury Fire Chief John Tull are pleased to announce that the Salisbury Fire Department has been awarded a grant in the amount of $75,000.00 from CareFirst. The funding is designated to support the continued efforts of the Salisbury Wicomico Integrated First Care Team (SWIFT), and will be awarded over a two-year period.
The SWIFT program is a partnership of the Wicomico County Health Department, Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), and the Salisbury Fire Department (SFD). Its purpose is to reduce non-emergency calls to 911 by targeting Wicomico residents who frequently utilize Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for non-emergency purposes. Those who have called for non-emergency assistance more than five times in a six-month period are contacted by the Swift team and asked to participate in the program.
The SWIFT team consists of a paramedic from the Salisbury Fire Department and a registered nurse from PRMC’s Community Health team. Together they make home visits to enroll recurring Emergency Department (ED) visitors in the program and find those individuals a primary care physician or other treatment resources, including behavioral health services.
“This is a tremendous program which has delivered significant results so far,” said Fire Chief John Tull. “It’s a partnership that benefits everyone involved. I am proud of the work of David Phippin and Chris Truitt, SFD’s SWIFT Coordinators.”
The CareFirst Grant has several goals which include reducing the number of annual non-emergency SFD transports by 20% each year, the reduction of 1800 unnecessary ED visits, and the enrollment of at least 210 new patients by the end of the two-year grant period.
“SWIFT, much like Salisbury’s Housing First program, represents the vanguard of proactive municipal services in America,” said Mayor Day. “This grant will allow us to continue driving down the reliance upon emergency responders for non-emergency concerns, which ultimately saves taxpayer dollars. But SWIFT is truly so much more than that. The amount of heart and compassion this team brings to its clients is a model for all healthcare professionals. I am immensely pleased that CareFirst has awarded the SWIFT program with this grant which will allow the work to continue.”
SWIFT began as a pilot program in October of 2017 and already has approximately 80 patients enrolled.