HANFORD – Julie Andrews of Hanford is looking forward to a healthier year in 2014, thanks to a new free health care shuttle in town.
Two vans started rolling on Wednesday, Jan. 15, for patients of Adventist Health / Community Care clinics in Hanford and Home Garden. The vans provide free rides to and from clinic appointments or other health care services in town.
Andrews was the first passenger on Jan. 15. She learned about the vans when she called the Hanford clinic to cancel an appointment after her ride fell through. Andrews relies on others to take her to see her doctor because she doesn’t have a vehicle.
“I’m so grateful for this service,” Andrews said. “I won’t have to ask family members to take me to the clinic now.”
Andrews is the type of patient that the service was created for, said Dr. John Zweifler, Community Care medical director. “You can have the best health care in the world, but it won’t do any good if patients can’t access it,” he said. “Having the shuttle helps patients get the help they need. We’re happy to provide it.”
Adventist Health started the shuttle because some patients were missing or canceling appointments due to transportation issues, hindering their ability to improve their health. The eight-passenger, wheelchair-accessible vans are operated by Central Valley Health Transport, a new company in town. They run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“The service is awesome,” Andrews said. “I really enjoy the people and the ride to my appointments.”
Shuttle rides are arranged at the time the patient schedules a clinic appointment. More information about the clinics and the shuttle is available by calling toll-free 888-443-2273 or visiting www.AHCommunityCare.com.