Hand in Hand Transportation Program Takes Off for DHA’s Elderly/Disabled Residents
Thanks to a HUD funding grant and a fifty percent matching donation from Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Dover Housing Authority’s elderly/disabled residents are now able to travel to and from their doctor’s appointments – at no charge and with special assistance services.
The Hand in Hand Transportation Program is a component of the Dover Housing Authority’s Supportive Services Program. The Program provides service coordination, community resource planning and this new free transportation to doctor’s appointments. Project Coordinator Cathryn Conway-Dorr said the program answers one of the resident’s greatest unmet needs.
“It’s been a struggle for some of our residents to get to their doctor’s office due to lack of adequate, affordable transportation,” Ms. Conway-Dorr said. “This cooperative venture with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is an amazing example of a partnership that benefits the low income elderly and disabled in our community.”
Dover Housing Authority received a three-year HUD grant in the amount of $269,362 to purchase a 15 passenger, wheelchair-equipped van and cover the costs of the Project Coordinator and Supportive Services Program. Wentworth-Douglass Hospital provides the van driver, van scheduling and coordination, vehicle maintenance, fuel and supplies for a total value of $150,000.
The hospital’s Transport Services led by Nola Bayes, MBA, NREMT and Linda Roy, NREMT, is responsible for the hospital component of the new Hand in Hand partnership. “We started transportation services with one van as one of the hospital’s Community Benefit Projects. Currently the service operates four Care-Vans driving over 127,000 miles a year. Hand in Hand is another step in our efforts to ease the transportation issues for patients to visit their physicians,” Ms. Bayes explained.
All hospital drivers for Care-Van and Hand in Hand are Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMTs). Drivers will assist residents with ambulation issues or cognitive deficits from their apartments onto the van and from the van into the doctor’s office. Residents receive a Hand in Hand magnet for their refrigerators with an easily visible phone number to contact for medical transportation.
The Hand in Hand program begins in April with residents from Waldron Towers and will be phased in to other residencies in the Dover area over the next few weeks.
Hand in Hand Van receives award
Dover Housing Authority has been named a 2009 recipient of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) Merit Award for its work in developing a collaborative medical transportation system with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in housing and community development programs through the nation and was presented to Jack Buckley, Executive Director of the Dover Housing Authority.
The partnership between the Dover Housing Authority and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital produced the award winning “Hand in Hand Medical Transportation Program”. This program is designed to meet a critical need for affordable, accessible transportation to medical appointments for the 298 elderly and disabled residents of Dover Housing Authority’s low income public housing.
“The Hand in Hand project is an example of a successful good-neighbor effort combining the expertise of each entity to create a strong community program,” said Gregory Walker, FACHE, President and CEO of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.