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PACE Paramedic Service Pilots Health Program

Roberta Metivier, Vice President of Human Resources at Stephens Memorial Hospital is pleased to that PACE Paramedic Service has been chosen as the pilot site for a new MaineHealth Musculoskeletal Health Program beginning in January.

Ally Keppel, MA, Med, Director of Integrated Disability and Absence Management and Laurie Jones Mitchell, RD, Director of Employee Health Improvement at MaineHealth were at PACE Paramedic Service on Friday, December 5th to unveil the program which partners Western Maine Health, MaineHealth Disability Management and Work on Wellness Programs with Maine Heart Center's Take Charge Program and Maine Medical Centers Sports Medicine Program.

PACE, which is the only group of employed Emergency Medical Service individuals in the entire MaineHealth system, was chosen as the pilot group thanks to the hard work of the Human Resources department and due in part to the great risks that the workers face on a daily basis going to emergency calls. Dr. Rebecca Chagrasulis, Medical Director for PACE shared, through Metivier, that she is thrilled with the decision for PACE to be the pilot site. 

The 4-month program begins with health screenings, and goal setting in the areas of physical activity, healthy eating, and mental wellness.  Incentives can been earned by each participant reaching their goals at the end of the 4 month period.  To help with physical fitness goals, exercise equipment has been purchased and put into the PACE building for ease of use while the crews are at work and on call at the base.

PACE Director, Robert Hand states, ""We never know what we're going to get into here at PACE, exemplified by the fire last week at the New England Public Warehouse.  We can be called upon to go anywhere, anytime, and typically it's under the worst of circumstances, so we need to be ready.  Not just with our skills, but physically as well.  The old adage is that experience comes with age.   Well, we have some of the most experienced providers in the State!  This equipment from MaineHealth could mean the difference between one of those experienced Paramedics staying in the field and continuing to help the community, or leaving the field.  It is huge in the retention of qualified employees to offer health and wellness encouragement.  When you put it in those terms, it this equipment truly could save a life.  Not just the Medic's, but the person they are trying to help as well!"

Though the program as sponsored only lasts 4 months, the hope is that it will build positive habits with the workers that will continue in helping them be healthier and happier as well as reducing the risks for injury in this high demand profession.

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