SANFORD – Ask any Floridian, and they’d probably agree that access to quality health care shouldn’t be a luxury. But for those in underserved communities, where health care costs and the distance to major medical facilities are often barriers, it can be hard to come by. That’s where Seminole State College of Florida’s Community Paramedic Certificate program comes in.
The College’s community paramedicine program, set to begin in Fall 2023, aims to train paramedics to address gaps in a community’s health care system. Students in the program will learn to identify community health needs, develop strategies to meet those needs and build community capacity, and locate reliable sources for community health issues.
In general, community paramedics collaborate with community resources and partners to address health problems within their communities, reduce hospital readmissions, prevent unnecessary ambulance transports and keep patients in their homes. These specially trained paramedics work under local medical care as part of a community-based team of health and social service providers.
Seminole State’s program, offered in partnership with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), is open to paramedics who hold a Florida certification and can be completed in as little as eight months entirely online. Those who complete the program and pass the certification exam can even earn credits toward continuing their education in the College’s Bachelor of Science degrees in Health Sciences or Public Safety Administration.
“We’re adapting content we already have academically to offer this training to certified paramedics across the state so they will be equipped to offer care where its most needed in counties throughout Florida,” said Molly Kostenbauder, associate vice president of Seminole State’s School of Business, Health and Public Safety. “The Florida Department of Health is focusing on rural areas where health care gaps tend to be more prevalent. This is an initiative to support rural communities in a new way.”
FDOH will cover the cost of training (course instruction and materials only) for a limited number of qualified participants. To learn more about the program, including registration information, visit sem.st/cpc.