Ginger Doll, Fleet Manager at Swope Health Services, is a driving force for health care.
She and her team of eight drivers are on the Kansas City metro area streets Monday through Friday, helping SHS patients keep appointments with healthcare providers, caseworkers, dentists, optometrists and all other SHS programs.
“We know lack of transportation can be a barrier to healthcare,” she said. “We want to remove that barrier.”
The SHS transportation service is available free to any patient with a scheduled appointment at SHS Central who lives within the service area. The pickup radius is bordered at the north by St John Street, at the south by 130th Street, on the east by Sterling Street and on the west by State Line Road.
The SHS team requests five days’ advance notice to maximize scheduling efficiency, but Ginger notes her caring team makes every effort to respond even to same-day requests.
SHS caseworkers and community support specialists can also help with scheduling transportation.
Additionally, four days a week, the program serves Hickman Mills, Belton, Independence and Wyandotte clinics.
The program also supports SHS day program outings and Imani House programs, and makes a regular circuit weekly to homeless shelters. In 2018, Ginger plans to further expand the transportation service to support any SHS clinic.
Altogether, this driven and dedicated SHS transportation team has carried 33,000 people in 2017.
The program’s nine vehicles have logged 119,000 miles – the equivalent of driving across the country 45 times this year!
To some SHS patients, the free transportation service is their basic means of accessing healthcare. Ginger has some clients who’ve used the service faithfully for 20 years.
“It’s easy to use,” Ginger said. “Just call us.”