SPOTLIGHT: ST. MARY MEDICAL CENTER BY CHRIS SHEID Don Konecki (left), a paramedic with Superior Ambulance Service, prepares to take patient Joe Kusiak's blood pressure as part of a Community Paramedicine home visit. PROACTIVE PARAMEDICINE St. Mary Medical Center Community Paramedicine brings paramedics to area homes to help patients manage their health 50 SU M M ER 2 0 1 8 Valparaiso resident Joe Kusiak suffers from congestive heart failure and spends more time in the hospital than he would like. He says he needs help sometimes managing his symptoms. "I am doing a lot of right things, but I could be better," he says. "I want to be better." Patients like Kusiak with chronic illnesses often find themselves visiting the Emergency department or being readmitted to the hospital due to complications with their conditions. In many cases, convalescence and health management can be successfully maintained at home; yet when symptoms become unmanageable, hospitalization may become necessary.