By Ann Marie Triplet, Zach Ratner-Miller, Mary McAdams, Jim Pollard
Home is truly where the heart is. Anyone who has ever spent the holidays away from loved ones knows the longing to be with family. That is why, for many years, ambulance services around the nation have been helping warm the hearts of community members during the holidays by transporting carefully-chosen care facility patients to and from a relative’s home at no charge. Many such programs are known as Home for the Holiday.
If your agency does not have a holiday tradition, American Medical Response (AMR) is offering advice on how to incorporate a similar program into your community outreach efforts.
“Home for the Holiday is so rewarding for everyone involved – the crew, the patients and their family members, and the facilities’ staff,” said Jim Pollard, public affairs manager for AMR Central Mississippi in Jackson. His operation has conducted the program for 25 years. Pollard said that Home for the Holiday is a way for the AMR team to connect with patients, their families and the facilities under less stressful conditions. “This is one of the ways we give back. It’s part of our calling. It’s a fixture here. Our crews and facilities look forward to it every year.”
Home for the Holiday requires planning and careful While programs differ slightly for each AMR operation, AMR representatives agree that there are several key considerations when implementing such a program:
1. Foster strong and trusting relationships with care facilities
Zack Ratner-Miller supervises non-medical transports for AMR in Las Vegas. He says it is crucial to and maintain relationships with the skilled nursing facilities, and other care centers. His colleague and quality care coordinator, Annie Triplett, agrees. “Year-round, we visit our facilities, engaging with patients and collaborating with staff, just as most ambulance services do,” Triplett said. “Home for the Holiday has been a part of the Las Vegas operations for 15 and it continues to be a mainstay in our facility relations efforts. Over the years, key facility staff members become familiar with Home for the and they gladly…