Buckeye Fire Chief Honored with Prestigious Health Care Hero Award
Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello has the distinct honor of being Phoenix Business Journal’s Community Outreach Health Care Hero of 2019. The journal named Costello as one of three finalists in the area of Community Outreach in July. On Thursday, the Journal announced him as the winner at its annual Heath Care Heroes breakfast.
Costello worked tirelessly with BFMRD’s Medical Director, Todd Clever, M.D. at Banner Estrella Medical Center, to create a program few other agencies have been able to sustain. In 2015, the collaboration launched Buckeye Fire’s Community Paramedicine Program. The program aims at bridging the gap between hospital discharge and physician follow-up by helping citizens manage their chronic illness or disease. The result has been a dramatic decrease in patients having to return to the hospital.
Patients voluntarily join the program at no cost to them when released from Banner Estrella Medical Center. Buckeye Fire-Medical-Rescue Department community paramedics then schedule routine in-home visits to monitor vitals, prescriptions, help navigate the healthcare system and guide them to becoming a healthier and more proactive patient. The program recently opened to allow any Buckeye resident to enroll.
Chief Costello's Community Paramedicine Program has had an amazing impact on the community. To date, community paramedics have made over 1,687 home visits and traveled over 21,000 miles. The current 30-day all-cause readmission rate for participants is 3.6% compared to 16.9% in the Buckeye area and 15% statewide. Most patients have flourished while participating in the program.
“I am thrilled to be recognized among many talented health care professionals in the greater Phoenix area. The Paramedicine Program is definitely a point of pride for our department. Its success is a testament to the trust the community already has in Buckeye Fire,” said Costello.
The amazing and positive impact the program has on the community has garnered the full support of the Buckeye City Council.