Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shanna Barnett


Maldistribution of healthcare professionals persists in remote and rural communities throughout the world. Adoption of a Community Paramedic (CP) program could improve access to quality healthcare for rural communities. The conceptual framework defined rural communities by their distinct characteristics — community efficacy, weaknesses, attitudes, assets, deficits, local culture, and the driving and restraining forces — and not defined by their small populations or distances to cities. The theoretical foundation was a synthesis of theories of Bandura, Rogers, and Lewin. This study assessed community characteristics that may influence the likelihood of success, sustainability, or program failure of the Australian CP model in a single remote Texas border community. In this qualitative formative bounded case study, 3 bounded groups were examined; data collection was by in-person interviews. Group members were purposively selected: 5 residents and 3 EMS members. The 3rd group consisted of 4 randomly self-selected resident interviews, field observations, news articles, and local social media. Data transcripts were coded using theoretical coding based on the conceptual framework and theoretical foundation. Strong individual and group efficacy, efficacy resilience, adaptability, strong communications, overlapping groups, and a strong sense of community program ownership were evident in this study. The probability of establishing an effective CP program based on the Australian model is high based on study findings. Improved access to quality healthcare in remote and rural communities could result in improved health of community members and significant social change.