Thoughts from the CEO

This time of year brings forth thoughts about year-end rituals and opportunities for closure and reflections on projects and ideas that we have been working on throughout the year. For CARESTAR, we spent much of 2021 expanding our network, deepening relationships with our partners, and working to better understand the specific areas where we could have the greatest impact on emergency and prehospital care in California.

Through it all, we learned something critically important -- research about racial disparities and inequities in emergency and prehospital care is sorely lacking. Knowing that this area gets little philanthropic investment, and with our vision of equity in mind, we decided that we must make impactful contributions in this area of research now.

Our approach is simple - find folks who are genuinely interested in exploring and documenting existing inequities in the processes, interactions, treatment, and outcomes related to emergency and prehospital care in our communities and provide funding to support their work and encourage actionable change.

Earlier this year, we announced a grant to UCSF for a project that looks at racial disparities in the use of physical and/or chemical restraints in prehospital pediatric behavioral health emergencies (BHEs), and now, we are pleased to share that we are funding another important piece of foundational research to investigate the diversity of the current emergency and prehospital care workforce.

Read on for more details about this grant, and please reach out if our vision for equity, unity, and compassion in the field is one you share.

In community and partnership,
New Grants Awarded
CARESTAR's board of directors recently approved $1,075,000 in new grants including:

  • $75,000 to Dr. Janet Coffman and the Healthforce Center at UCSF for a research study that will provide baseline data on the racial/ethnic and linguistic diversity of California’s EMT and paramedic workforce, and an assessment of the scale and scope of EMTs and paramedics from underrepresented backgrounds leaving the field after training and/or working in these roles. 

  • $1,000,000 to Public Health Advocates for their ongoing work to coordinate a statewide campaign of California cities reimagining and redesigning their emergency response systems to improve their efficiency, effectiveness, and equity.
EMS Implementation of Medication for Addiction Treatment
A study on EMS implementation of medication for opioid use disorder, supported by CA Bridge and the CARESTAR Foundation was recently published in the peer review medical journal Prehospital and Emergency Care*.

Medication for opioid use disorder is proven to save lives, but the challenge for many patients is accessing treatment. Expanding access for patients who might otherwise not engage in the healthcare system, the EMS buprenorphine (bup) pilot project initiates treatment for opioid use disorder by paramedics in the community and then connects patients to ongoing care. The pilot is one of four EMS-based interventions within Contra Costa County addressing increased overdose deaths. The multifaceted approach also includes linking patients to ongoing outpatient care, and consistent information documentation. 

The study involves three cases from this initial pilot intervention, representing an exciting and novel use of EMS resources in treating opioid withdrawal using medication for addiction treatment. Learn more

Image courtesy of CA Bridge. Caption: Vanessa Lara, a research associate at CA Bridge, participates in the production of the CA Bridge EMS training series with Christian Hailozian, a substance use navigator.

*H. Gene Hern, David Goldstein, M Kalmin, S Kidane, S Shoptaw, Ori Tzvieli & Andrew A Herring (2021) Prehospital Initiation of Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder by Paramedics, Prehospital Emergency Care, DOI: 10.1080/10903127.2021.1977440
Building Racial Equity into our Local Public Health System
Take part in a community-based research initiative that seeks to transform local budgets towards community power and public health, including emergency response, health care, mental health, oral health, and social services.

Share your experiences with local safety net systems, such as emergency response, health care, mental health, public health, and social services. Diverse perspectives, specifically people from Black, indigenous, and communities of color, LGBTQ+ communities, and people with disabilities are especially welcome. The survey is available in six languages. Respondents must reside in California.
Our Mission: To improve health outcomes for all Californians, we use a racial equity lens to fund and advocate for improvements to our emergency response system.

Our Vision: All Californians experience an emergency response system that is equitable, unified, and compassionate. The lives of people touched by trauma or injury dramatically improve because they receive the appropriate care, services and supports they need to heal and prevent re-injury.

©2021 CARESTAR Foundation. All rights reserved.