Students Create Bridge to Primary Care for Rural Patients

Two medical students created the project, the first of its kind in New Hampshire.

Read the full story by Susan Green, published by the Geisel School of Medicine.

Years of working as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in rural New England gave second-year Geisel School of Medicine students Nick Valentini ’20 and Karissa LeClair ’20 shared insight into the challenges that patients face at home and the need for a home-health care resource that is readily available and of no cost to this vulnerable population.

“Thinking about this project, I realized it was a good way to raise awareness among medical students and healthcare providers about the capabilities of first responders,” Valentini says. “And to bring emergency medical service (EMS) in contact with medical providers so they can work together to provide continuity of care.”

The pilot Community Paramedicine project, developed and implemented by Valentini and LeClair, partners medical students with Upper Valley Ambulance paramedics and EMTs to make house calls—the first partnership of its kind in New Hampshire. Rooted in compassion-centered medical care, the project took shape while both Valentini and LeClair were Rodis fellows. Geisel’s Pano Rodis Fellowship in Compassion-Centered Medical Care encourages medical students to design and implement an independent project that addresses compassion-centered care.

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Nick Valentini ’13, Geisel ’20, and Karissa LeClair, Geisel ’20, created the Community Paramedicine program.
Nick Valentini ’13, Geisel ’20, and Karissa LeClair, Geisel ’20, created the Community Paramedicine program. (Photo by Lars Blackmore)