In efforts to better serve their patients, Clara Barton has partnered with the Sunflower Diversified Public Transportation, the Hoisington Trolley and Golden Belt Community Foundation to help provide better access and financial assistance for transportation to and from medical appointments and procedures.
Every three years, critical access hospitals are required to complete a Community Health Needs assessment to better identify the needs of the community they serve. Clara Barton Medical Center completed their latest assessment in 2021 and discovered patient transportation to be one of the biggest barriers for patients to receive proper care. In efforts to better serve their patients, Clara Barton has partnered with the Sunflower Diversified Public Transportation, the Hoisington Trolley and Golden Belt Community Foundation (GBCF) to help provide better access and financial assistance for transportation to and from medical appointments and procedures.
Although public transportation has been available in some shape or form throughout the Barton County area, the need to schedule rides in advance and hours of operation often created obstacles when patients needed to utilize these services. Starting in February, through the partnership with Sunflower Diversified General Transportation, a 6:00 PM ride will be available to both patients and community members alike, leaving from Clara Barton Medical Center every Monday through Friday evening at 6:00 PM. No scheduling is necessary to utilize the 6:00 PM ride, but riders are asked to contact a nurse or registration personnel ahead of time so they can communicate the riders name and address to the transportation dispatch prior to departure. 6:00 PM scheduled pickup will be at the Clara Barton Medical Center front entrance.
“There have been many instances where we have encountered patients who are ready to be discharged in the evening or who may just be getting out of surgery but are unable to drive themselves or do not have a family member to take them home. These occurrences often fall outside of local trolley hours and are unable to be scheduled in advance,” said Mandy Hoffman, Clara Barton Medical Center VP/COO. “The addition of the 6:00 PM ride from Clara Barton will be huge for our patients, giving them an option to schedule a later appointment or get a ride home after their surgery or hospital stay without having to make special arrangements well in advance.”
Not only did the timing of rides and the need to schedule in advance create barriers, but Clara Barton often experienced patients who did not have the financial means to afford the ride to and from their medical appointments. In fact, it is a common occurrence for Clara Barton staff to dig into their own wallets to help patients cover the ride they need to get to and from their appointments.
“I often have patient without the financial means to get to appointments no matter what the cost,” said Chantell McKenzie, Care Management Nurse. “This often cause barriers and effects both their quality of life and the quality of care we are able to provide.”
Thanks to GBCF, Clara Barton has received a grant to assist with funding to start the pilot program that will not only offer the scheduled 6:00 PM ride from their facility, but also will help patients in need of financial assistance pay for their rides to and from their appointments throughout the day.
“We are so very thankful to receive funding from the Albert Gumbir Charitable Fund at Golden Belt Community Foundation to better help our patients receive the care they need,” said Michelle Moshier, Clara Barton Foundation Executive Director. “Albert’s legacy included many charitable acts, one he was well known for was giving rides to the store or doctor’s offices when he was active with the Senior Center. Clara Barton Medical Center is honored help carry his legacy forward by helping others through these transportation partnerships.”
In addition to the Grant funded by GBCF to assist with Clara Barton’s partnership with Sunflower General Transportation, a Clara Barton staff member stepped up with a $100 donation to help assist patients needing financial assistance to ride the Hoisington Trolley as well.
Compassionate staff is a hallmark of Clara Barton Medical Center, and this donation is an example of how our staff strive to be empathetic to patients’ needs and eliminate barriers that stand in the way of patients receiving care,” said Moshier. “Some of our patients don’t have extended family close by to help drive them to medical appointments and many patients are on fixed budgets. This caring donation has allowed us to purchase trolley tickets that can be given to patients needing a little help.”
The Hoisington Trolley offers rides anywhere within the Hoisington City limits from 9 AM – 4 PM Monday through Friday for just 25¢ a ride. In addition, Sunflower General Transportation offers rides anywhere in Barton County throughout the day for $1.00 each way, but all Sunflower Transportation rides not including the 6:00 pm ride must be scheduled 24 hours in advance.
If you or your loved one is a Clara Barton patient who would like to learn more about local transportation schedules or how to receive financial assistance for transportation, please call Clara Barton Hospital at 620-653-2114 or call the Clinic at 620-653-2386 and ask to speak with Chantell.