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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. Learn more at


About Geisinger
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital became the newest members of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $12.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.