UCHealth-Fort Collins Police partnership first in the nation to focus on co-responders
Fort Collins Police Services announced recently that its officers will begin using the VitalsTM App in the coming weeks – becoming the first public safety agency in Colorado to use the cutting-edge technology.
This also marks the launch of a first-of-its-kind partnership between UCHealth and Fort Collins Police Services providing the Vitals App to all officers and UCHealth co-responders.
The Vitals App allows a vulnerable person or caregiver to download an app, and voluntarily provide real-time critical information about medical conditions, visible and invisible intellectual and developmental conditions or disabilities, memory loss, and mental health challenges. The customized account profiles often include de-escalation cues and techniques, behavior triggers, current medications, etc.
“We are excited to bring the Vitals App to Fort Collins and the state of Colorado. We believe this powerful technology will help our officers and co-responders initiate less stressful and more successful interactions in our community,” said Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda.
“As we navigate the complex intersection of public safety and mental health, I’m confident that Fort Collins Police Services and our partners will continue to collaborate and innovate to meet the needs of our community. The Vitals program is one of many ways we’re working to ensure safety and service for all.”
UCHealth officials learned early in the process that Fort Collins Police Services was interested in using the Vitals App. The largest health care organization in the region immediately saw the value of the technology and decided to partner to bring Vitals to Fort Collins.
“We have so many patients who can benefit from the Vitals App. We think this is a fantastic resource for the co-responders working alongside police officers. This is a great way for public health and mental health professionals to partner with public safety to help keep residents safe,” said Stephanie Booco, co-responder program supervisor for UCHealth.
Lea Anne Paskvalich, executive director of the Autism Society of Colorado, said she hopes resources like the Vitals App fosters a cultural change in community policing. She commended Fort Collins and UCHealth for their proactive mindset in bringing Vitals to Colorado. “I know that we have constituents who will benefit from this service. This app will give autistic individuals and their families more peace of mind and a tangible way to help protect themselves,” Paskvalich added.
David Monroe, executive director of The Arc of Larimer County, said that after learning about the Vitals App and the positive impact it has had in other states and municipalities, he was pleased to see it being added to the resources that are available for use [both by our community members living with I/DD and their families] and by the Fort Collins Police Services when interacting with individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in our community.
“We are hopeful that it will prove to be a useful tool that has a foundational impact on the nature of the interactions which take place in our community between people with IDD and Police Service professionals,” Monroe added.
The VitalsTM App speaks clearly when vulnerable individuals can’t. The power of the VitalsTM App was on full display when Katelyn Kasel, a Minnesota resident with a cognitive disability, found herself in a potentially dangerous situation one evening while driving home from work. Check out Katelyn’s story here. Onsite first responders got access to critical information about Katelyn in real-time, dramatically changing the entire interaction.
“I applaud Chief Swoboda and his team for being the first public safety agency in Colorado to begin using the Vitals App. Colorado has long been seen as a leader nationally in law enforcement reform. Bringing our lifesaving technology to Fort Collins continues that forward-thinking trend,” said Janeé Harteau, president, and chief executive officer of VitalsTM Aware Services.
The VitalsTM App, considered the first real-time digital medical ID, is available for download in both Apple and Google Play stores. Check it out here. VitalsTM is proud to partner with the following organizations: Autism Society of Colorado, The Autism Society of Minnesota, Arc Minnesota, PACER Center, and NAMI Sacramento.
Learn more about the Vitals by clicking thevitalsapp.com.