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VITAS Healthcare of Fort Worth and Dr. Brad Cannell received Excellence in EMS Integration Awards from the Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration, an international organization of high-performance emergency medical services dedicated to promoting further integration of EMS into healthcare systems.

VITAS has partnered with MedStar Mobile Healthcare on a program supporting hospice patients and their families since 2013.  The partnership is designed to enhance the experience of patients and families enrolled in VITAS’s hospice program by providing a ‘safety net’ in the event of a hospice-related 9-1-1 activation for the enrolled patient. 

To date, 462 patients have been enrolled in this program, and 9-1-1 was activated for the patients 208 times.  Of these calls, only 108 resulted in a transport from the home, and 17 of these were transported directly to an in-patient hospice unit. 

The program has been profiled in numerous healthcare journals, and by the Advisory Board Company, a premier healthcare policy organization which studies data on outcomes from value-based healthcare programs.


Dr. Brad Cannell has led an effort with two universities to test methods to make it easier and more reliable for EMTs to identify potential victims of elder abuse and neglect.  Dr. Cannell has been the principle investigator for two studies for the Detection of Elder abuse through Emergency Care Technicians (DETECT) studies.

MedStar has participated in both of these studies by implementing training and patient care reporting worksheets to support these studies.  During the initial study period, MedStar Medics reported more than 4 times as many cases of potential elder mistreatment during the implementation of DETECT, and 82% of the cases were validated by Texas Adult Protective Services (APS).

In the most recent study, MedStar community paramedics are conducting face-to-face interviews with patients screened as being at high risk for potential elder abuse to test the worksheets for accuracy in reporting.

The findings suggest that incorporating the DETECT screening tool into the routine practices of medics is associated with substantial increases in the frequency with which clinicians report potential cases of elder mistreatment to APS.

These results have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The awards were presented to both recipients during the October 28th public board meeting of the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority, who nominated both Dr. Cannell and VITAS for the awards.

Congratulations to Dr. Cannell and VITAS Healthcare of Fort Worth on their very deserved awards for promoting the integration of EMS further into the healthcare system!