Southern Nevada CHIPs
Organized by: Sarah McCrea
In a Nutshell:
Southern Nevada CHIPs is a social service referral program that works with local emergency medical service providers. Currently, student interns pursuing their Master’s Degree in Social Work from the local university complete their practicum requirement by providing needs assessment, education, referral, and advocacy to patients identified by emergency medical technicians in the field.
Southern Nevada CHIPs is an idea born of an experienced firefighter/paramedic working in a busy system for over sixteen years. She witnessed nearly every imaginable reason for a 9-1-1 call for service. She encountered thousands of desperate people in their most vulnerable moment and circumstance. She realized that first responders have a unique perspective, and this perspective can be a tool to dramatically improve the health of the community when partnered with other social service and health care providers.
Southern Nevada CHIPs started in the Fall of 2013. The services of the program are provided by student interns from the university pursuing their Master's Degree in Social Work assigned to the fire department to complete their practicum requirement. Clients are referred to the student interns by the firefighters and paramedics who were encouraged to refer those that need help and services different than, or in addition to, fire suppression and/or emergency medical treatment and transport.
Due to great demand (>15 referrals/week), Southern Nevada CHIPs is transitioning from an unfunded student intern practicum placement into a non-profit organization so it can operate year-around with hired professionals and establish self-sufficiency and sustainability.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our program. If you are able, please support the program!