In March, leaders from across the burgeoning field of mobile integrated health met for the MIH Summit hosted by NAMIHP and Atrium Health. More than 430 attendees and 40 exhibitors from across the country and Canada met in Charlotte, NC, to discuss what’s happening and where the field is headed.
“This was the most supportive conference that I have ever attended!” said Reba Graf, a Paramedic who traveled to Charlotte from Nebraska. “Everyone was there to ‘uplift’ each other. The collaboration of providers that shared best practices and challenges provided reassurance and direction for what I am planning to initiate.”
Conference attendees shared rave reviews of the connections they made and lessons learned to carry home to their teams.
Let’s look at some of the highlights.
CP-C Bootcamp and Testing
Before the formal conference began, NAMIHP hosted a CP-C Bootcamp to prepare attendees for the Community Paramedicine Board Certification Exam. With nearly 40 people attending the bootcamp, testing spots filled quickly. After working with the International Board of Specialty Certifications (IBSC) to hold additional testing sessions, the Summit set a national record for the number of paramedics to get Board Certified in Community Paramedicine as part of a single event. NAMIHP had to hold three testing sessions to accommodate everyone who registered. Congratulations to the newly certified Community Paramedics.
The interest in the Board Certification was encouraging for the future and growth of MIH.
“I had the opportunity to meet a young lady at the network gathering who has just begun her career path,” said Amy S Jarosek, LP CHW, Community Paramedicine Captain, Williamson County EMS. “It was so refreshing to speak with a new generation of providers who realize the value in community paramedicine and mobile integrated health and how collaboration is key to success.”
Exhibits and Ride Alongs
For one day of the conference, attendees could opt to do a ride-along with a local MIH team. North Carolina has been a leader in adopting MIH and has strong MIH teams. Those choosing a ride-along could get hands-on experience with teams specializing in hospital discharges, hospital at home, chronic disease or opioid disorder response.
The bustling exhibit hall was also great for attendees and vendors. Vendors included Current Health, Amerimed, Wayfound Health, Henry Schein, Siemens Healthineers, and many more. Attendees were able to browse and learn from the vendors, who were able to engage and make connections.
Mindy Gabriel, of HealthCall, a NAMIHP partner, said “As a vendor, we had excellent traffic to our booth with many high quality conversations. All participants were focused on the solutions we offer and were ready to get to work. We will be back next year!”
Attendees also had the opportunity to attend workshops and skills labs. The pre-conference Grant Writing Workshop introduced participants to writing grant proposals, finding opportunities, and understanding the federal process for grants. The workshop was well-received, and teams have already asked for more.
The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) offered a pre-conference workshop on preparing for MIH Accreditation. CAMTS executive staff reviewed the process and standards for seeking accreditation of MIH programs and left time for participant questions.
Participants learned how the standards help teams strive toward excellence in quality and safety. Many teams in attendance felt that pursuing accreditation will help teams improve quality across their operation. They also realized the level of support available from CAMTS staff for MIH programs pursuing Accreditation for the first time.
Leadership and Clinical Program
From the opening keynote through the final session, attendees filled conference rooms, some to standing room only. The expert lineup of 64 speakers covered clinical practice topics, management and leadership, touching on all aspects of providing care in MIH teams to how to run MIH teams. Plus, speakers looked at the future of community paramedicine, from education to how to elevate the field in the eyes of payers and government.
One informative session was by NAMIHP Board Member Thomas Derkowski. He spoke about how to use the language of value-based care to talk to health systems, payers and physician organizations about partnerships. These conversations are essential to building critical partnerships and revenue sources.
Ari Breslauer, MPH, CCEMT-P, speaker and attendee, enjoyed the opportunity to share and to learn. He talked as part of a session on scaling a community paramedicine program, sharing tips and tricks on how to grow. But he also had his own takeaways from the event, which he shared on LinkedIn:
“While at the conference I also met some amazing people for the first time and reconnected with friends from the past as well – truly a great experience! The number one thing I learned last week was that Mobile Integrated Health and Community Paramedicine is only going to grow as time goes on. The United States healthcare system needs to lower costs and increase healthcare quality. I am excited to see what kind of innovations that are coming soon. I strongly believe paramedics are the right group of healthcare providers to do this work!”
The next opportunity to learn with NAMIHP will be the MIH Summit at the pre-conference session of EMS World Expo. Plan to join us September 18-19 and engage with us throughout the year through our email newsletter, monthly fireside chats and other events.
The conference was an amazing opportunity to come together, hear different viewpoints and problems addressed in other services, and through a team approach, bring those ideas back home to further healthcare and improve the systems and models around the nation. Excellent conference!