Community assistance referral and education services (CARES) program information


A registered CARES program may provide community outreach and health education to people in an effort to prevent illness and injury, and to reduce the incidence of 911 calls and hospital emergency department visits made for the purpose of obtaining non-emergent medical care or services. Authorized CARES providers may include: a licensed ambulance service, a fire department of a town, city, or city and county, a fire protection district, ambulance district, health assurance district, health service district, metropolitan district, or special district authority, or a licensed or certified healthcare facility.

Who are consumers of CARES programs?

People who frequently utilize the 911 system or emergency department for non-emergent concerns may benefit from the health education, outreach and assistance a CARES program offers.

What services do CARES programs provide?

  • Information to residents about health education and available services.
  • Referrals for and information concerning low-cost medication programs and alternative resources to the 911 system.
  • Collaboration with other community resources such as primary care providers, social services agencies and other healthcare professionals.

Who can work for a CARES program?

A person working for a CARES program may be a licensed, certified, or registered health care or mental health provider. Some examples include certified emergency medical technicians (EMT), certified paramedics, registered nurses and licensed social workers.
  • All providers may only provide education, referral and coordination services outlined above and may only act within his or her specific scope of practice.
  • All CARES providers are under the supervision and direction of a physician or advanced practice registered nurse.