The city of Upper Arlington has announced its Services to Age in Your Upper Arlington (STAY UA) Program has been named as the 2010 "Innovator Honoree" by Business First's annual Health Care Heroes Awards Program.

The city of Upper Arlington has announced its Services to Age in Your Upper Arlington (STAY UA) Program has been named as the 2010 "Innovator Honoree" by Business First's annual Health Care Heroes Awards Program.

STAY UA is believed to be the first program of its kind in the country. It was begun in April 2009 as a pilot program and is now an established program embedded within the Fire Division's Training & EMS Office, in partnership with local home health care agency InCare, a subsidiary of National Church Residences.

When called to the home of residents having issues living independently, Fire Division responders refer them to the STAY UA service coordinator to help identify appropriate support resources.

The city's EMS crews are often the first alerted to a resident who is experiencing problems, but they don't have the resources to help beyond responding to the emergency call. The STAY UA service coordinator provides the missing link between first responders and appropriate existing community support services

In many cases, this extra step can mean the difference between institutional care or being connected with services and support that enable these residents to remain safely at home.

Before STAY UA was established, over a six month period more than 260 emergency calls were made requesting EMS crews that turned out to be non-emergency in nature. In its first 10 months of operation, STAY UA helped reduce these types of calls to fewer than 10, with the service coordinator logging 184 referrals to support services on behalf of the elderly residents involved.

Additional details of the STAY UA Program can be obtained at www.uaoh.net or by calling the Upper Arlington Fire Division at 583-5100.