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Meeting the needs of special needs patients

"There's a trend in our health care system that says we're going to be doing more and more house calls and caring for people in a different capacity than emergencies," she said. "Our role is becoming much more focused on the support and hand-holding side of caring for patients ... That's why this training is very important."

Todd M. Castine, director of clinical services for the Clinton County Advocacy and Resource Center in Plattsburgh, spoke during the conference and said the training is important to people with special needs, their families and the emergency responders alike.

"The more [emergency responders] know ahead of time about how to effectively interact with our folks, the more the comfort level increases and they're able to provide better care," said Castine. "The biggest thing to know is our folks are no different than anyone else, it's just that they have some additional needs. And, if you know about them, then it's easier to help them."

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