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WILKES-BARRE, PA -- Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center's (GWV) Mobile Health Paramedic Program was recently honored as the 2015 Emergency Care Innovation of the Year by unanimous vote by Urgent Matters and the American College of Emergency Physicians. The Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award acknowledges cutting-edge innovations in emergency care and provides a platform for sharing effective solutions that address common issues facing the field.

Geisinger's Mobile Health Paramedic Program earned the award for its innovative new system of dispatching a paramedic to a patient's home to provide medical intervention or follow-up care, such as checking vitals, drawing bloodwork or administering intravenous (IV) diuretics, when the services the patient needs are not available through existing resources. The program allows Geisinger to bridge gaps in care for several key patient populations-those who frequent the emergency department, medically complex patients and patients diagnosed with heart failure-by using mobile equipment and audio-visual technology to connect with care providers. During the pilot phase from March 2014 to June 2015, 42 hospitalizations, 33 emergency department visits and an estimated 168 inpatient days were prevented.

"We wanted to create a nimble, flexible, clinical resource that we could deploy rapidly and provide a focused clinical service to the patient," said David Schoenwetter, D.O., FACEP, medical director of emergency medical services, Geisinger Health System. "Our mobile health paramedics are highly integrated into our system and will comfortably take care of people who are complex and ill."

Dr. Schoenwetter and Kathleen Sharp, senior performance innovation consultant, population health initiatives, accepted the award on behalf of GWV and delivered a presentation about the Mobile Health Paramedic Program at the Urgent Matters Conference in Boston on Oct. 25. Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn., earned second-place honors for its Patient Navigators program.

"Being honored-by unanimous vote, no less-is further justification that Geisinger has created a new and improved way to care for patients at the right time and in the right setting," said Dr. Schoenwetter.


About Urgent Matters
Urgent Matters is a national initiative dedicated to finding, developing and delivering strategies to improve patient flow and reduce emergency department crowding. Urgent Matters has a long standing reputation for producing unbiased content from a multi‐disciplinary perspective. Through educational activities such as e-newsletters, web seminars, podcasts, online tools and conferences, Urgent Matters disseminates best practices for emergency care. Urgent Matters is managed by the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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