Pilot transportation program extended due to increased interest and ridership
(Austin, TX) – Central Health and its affiliate CommUnityCare Health Centers have extended a pilot transportation program providing door-to-door shuttle service to and from the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center.
The transportation program was originally for patients and clients of the Southeast Health & Wellness Center living in Eastern Travis County, an area currently lacking easy access to health care services. The pilot was scheduled to end Oct 31. However, the program has been extended through Dec. 31, 2018, and is now available to anyone in Travis County.
“This pilot transportation project began as part of Central Health’s larger strategy of expanding health care services in Eastern Travis County,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said. “It has been so successful, we’ve extended it. Our goal is to bring health care closer to people, or bring people to health care. We’ll do everything possible to get people to their appointments because we know transportation is one of the biggest barriers to accessing health care.”
The shuttle service began in July as a pilot, with designated pick-up locations in Elroy and Hornsby Bend. Now the pilot has expanded to all patients with transportation needs living in Travis County with medical appointments at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center.
“We started with two designated pick-up and drop-off stops, but after listening to our patients we changed our plans,” said Elizabeth Marrero, Director of Programs at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center . “Now the shuttle service is available to all Travis County residents with appointments at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center. We’re seeing the most interest from people in Southeast Travis County.”
Since launching last summer, the pilot has provided and scheduled rides for 140 residents.
Central Health-supported CommUnityCare Health Centers is managing the pilot transportation project, while Elder Transportation Service is providing and operating the van. The Central Health Board of Managers originally allocated $19,000 to fund the pilot project, but added an additional $9,000 because of increased demand and ridership.
CommUnityCare patients with appointments at the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center can call 512-978-8576 to schedule transportation. Staff will screen patients for a variety of transportation options, including Yellow Cab vouchers, Capital Metro bus passes, or a reservation on the shuttle service. Transportation is available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.