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Pitt County recognized as "All-America County" award winner

October 15, 2020 posted by Vidant Health News

Congratulations to Pitt County!

In August, Pitt County was recognized as one of 10 “All-America County” award winners. This honor was presented to the County by the National Civic League. The award recognizes the County’s work in inclusive civic engagement to address health and well-being, and create stronger connections among residents, non-profit and government leaders.

The theme for this year’s competition was “Enhancing Health and Well-Being through Civic Engagement.” After a nationwide search, 22 finalists were chosen to present their community’s work to 11 national thought leaders. They presented how their county enhances the health and well-being of their communities through inclusive civic engagement.

As a leading health care provider, Vidant Health is committed to improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina by providing resources and high-quality care to the patients and communities we serve. The Vidant Health Community Benefit grant funded two of the three programs that were presented: the Community Paramedic Program and the Farm and Food Council.

The Community Paramedic Program is an innovative approach to engaging residents outside of the traditional health care system. Beginning in 2017, the program expands the paramedic role to provide health care and support to those in the community that lack access to physicians, pharmacies and health related resources. The goal of this program is to provide an “at-home” experience of paramedic-level care that will decrease non-emergency calls and avoidable readmissions to the hospital.

In 2019, approximately 25,000 calls were made to 911 for ambulance responses and 28% of those were for non-emergencies. This program is vital to efforts to decrease this number to ensure ambulatory resources are available for true medical emergencies. To date, patients who are enrolled in this program have reduced their ambulance and Emergency Department visits by 50%. This not only creates significant financial savings for the patient and the hospital, but it also increases the wellness and peace of mind of the patient, their caregivers and families.

In 2017, the Pitt County Farm and Food Council was established to promote a sustainable, equitable, healthy and economically viable community food system. The council expanded access to local farmers’ markets, developed a FoodFinder app to connect users with nearby food resources and participated in the Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the council has partnered with local area businesses, churches and other resources to collect packing material for school nutrition staff to pack lunches for children. The Brody School of Medicine also collaborated with farmers’ markets to make bulk purchases and create a temporary storage area for produce to help teach patients with obesity healthy cooking tips and best practices.

Congratulations to Pitt County and thank you to the individuals involved in these important community-focused programs – everyone’s part make a difference!

To learn more about these awards as well as the National Civic League, visit www.nationalcivicleague.org. To learn more about the other awards Pitt County has received, visit www.PittCountyNC.gov/DistinctionsClick here to view the video recording of the presentation. 
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