Cheryl Wears, RN, BSN, EMT-P, an emergency department nurse at Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital, was born and raised in Champaign County. She has always wanted to be someone who help others when they need it most. This is what motivated her to become a nurse and serve the community she grew up in.
Now, Cheryl’s service to others has expanded even more through her involvement with our community paramedicine program. Community paramedicine is a system of health care that is relatively new and constantly evolving. The program allows paramedics and emergency medical technicians to operate with expanded roles and responsibility, such as public health emergencies, primary health care services and preventative medicine to those who reside in underserved, rural communities.
Cheryl has shown as immense amount of dedication to serving those that need it most. Leading this program during the COVID-19 pandemic takes large amounts of skill and courage, yet Cheryl has done a remarkable job and is looking to do even more to serve the community who needs it.
“It is an extremely rewarding job. I get the opportunity to go help those in the community who need it most,” Cheryl shares. “I feel like I’m doing work that is truly making a difference and helping people get the care that they need, right where they need it.”
For example, Cheryl recalls one of the patients had gone to the hospital to receive further care. However, upon returning home, the patient realized that they did not have any food in the refrigerator to prepare meals while they were recovering. Once Cheryl found out about this issue, she was able to drop off food to the patient. This way, the patient was able to eat until they had recovered and regained the ability to shop on their own.
Cheryl works closely with Wade Smith, DO, our emergency department medical director, as well as Urbana Fire and EMS to help certain patients receive the treatment they need at home instead of the emergency department. Our community paramedicine program officially launched on Feb. 1, 2021 and is funded by a three-year, $225,000 grant through the Ohio Department of Health’s Community Paramedicine (CP) Rural Health Pilot Program.