Vulnerable Populations Strategic Initiative
There are significant disparities in health status and access to health care in King County, Washington. Poverty, discrimination, and limited English proficiency (LEP) affect access to health care and insurance coverage. Uninsured individuals disproportionately turn to emergency medical services (EMS) for health care services and as such, EMS providers are at the front lines in providing care to those most in need.
In 2014, 21.2% of King County’s residents were foreign-born and of these individuals, 26.4% of King County residents ages 5 and older spoke a language other than English at home.
Research shows that LEP communities in King County experience unique challenges in accessing 9-1-1 related to communication barriers and cultural differences.
The Vulnerable Population Strategic Initiative (VPSI) is a team of highly dedicated staff that works in partnership with the University of Washington School of Public Health, emergency response organizations and community leaders.
Their goal is to conduct programmatic, scientific and case-based evaluations to assure that EMS provides the best possible care to all King County residents regardless of race, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, culture, gender or language spoken.
Link/share our site at www.kingcounty.gov/vpsi
Below are resources for CPR, heart attacks, and 9-1-1 organized by language:
- Sobering Center Pilot Project
- City of Renton Sobering Center Pilot: Program Evaluation
- Evaluation of a Vulnerable Population Strategic Initiative: Patients with Mental Health Illnesses and/or Chemical Dependency Disorders
The pilot project was implemented by the Shoreline Fire Department (FD) to test a method of connecting 9-1-1 callers who have mental illness or substance use disorder to health care resources.
- Program evaluation: EMT Scholarship Program, King County Emergency Medical Services
King County Emergency Medical Services Division has sponsored the enrollment of candidates into its EMT Training Program via a scholarship. The purpose of this process evaluation is to understand and describe how the program is meeting its objective to remove three barriers that could dissuade someone from pursing enrollment in an EMT training program and a career in EMS.
- Vulnerable Populations Strategic Initiative: Countywide Needs Assessment
The objective of this needs assessment was to gather information from King County fire department personnel on the interface between EMS and vulnerable populations in King County, Washington.
- Vulnerable Populations Strategic Initiative: Program Analysis
The overreaching goal of the VPSI is to conduct programmatic, scientific and population based evaluations to ensure that the interface between EMS and vulnerable populations leads to better outcomes for vulnerable adults by applying research evidence to practice. The initiative is focused on conducting needs assessments with EMS providers and local populations, identifying and implementing pilot interventions and evaluating the results.
- Staying Alive: Assessing CPR Training in King County Schools
This study aims to determine the training retention rate (from middle to high school), assess memory of CPR techniques, and evaluate confidence in performing CPR.
- Vulnerable Adult Pilot Project: Program Evaluation
The EMS Vulnerable Adult Pilot Project is a coordinated effort to improve the identification and reporting of vulnerable adult abuse and neglect, to increase care coordination and communication among involved agencies, and to improve health outcomes of vulnerable adults in Seattle, King County.
- High Utilizing Individuals of Emergency Medical Services Project
Across the United States, high utilizing individuals (HUI) of emergency medical services (EMS) are calling 9-1-1 for non-emergent needs with increasing frequency. It is estimated that nationally 5% of emergency department (ED) patients account for 25% of all the visits, and 62% of all ED visits are for avoidable conditions.
- University of Washington, School of Public Health (faculty, students)
- King County fire departments and call centers
- Community-based organizations
- Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC)
- Somali Health Board
- King County Office of Emergency Management
- Seattle Fire Department cadet program
- King County EMS Division, Public Health — Seattle & King County
- Key leaders from vulnerable population communities