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The Racine Fire Department is seeking the approval of the Common Council to accept a $32,500 grant from Ascension-All Saints Hospital and its Foundation to expand the Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) program.

Of that grant, $20,000 would cover stipends and supplies associated with the program and the remaining $12,500 would go towards the training of five paramedics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee MIH training program. The City is not being asked to provide any additional funding for the nearly two-year-old program.

In the request for approval filed with the City, Fire Chief Steve Hansen cited the many failings and inefficiencies of the U.S healthcare system as the reason for the expansion of the MIH program.

“Barriers to patient access, fragmentation of acute and chronic care, ineffective management of chronic illness, and complex, outdated reimbursement processes leave patients, clinicians, and payers frustrated at historic levels,” he states. “The program will improve the quality of life for our citizens and ultimately stabilize or reduce future emergency calls for help,”

The focus of the MIH program will mainly be post-acute care as well as home safety inspections to reduce the number of preventable re-admissions, but it will also address the needs of “the chronically ill, frail elderly, and mobility impaired.”

The funding request is being considered at the Common Council meeting Tuesday night. An update will be posted after the decision has been made.