MOUNT VERNON — National studies indicate that the lack of transportation can directly lead to negative impacts on local residents, particularly when it concerns health. The lack of affordable and reliable transportation options can lead to missed appointments and ignoring health issues until an emergency arises. Studies show this problem affects residents of all ages but disproportionally impacts older, disabled, poor and rural residents.

To help address the issue of transportation locally, the Knox County Health Department is collaborating with several organizations and transportation providers to improve access to health care. The project which is part of the Maternal Child Health Services grant from the Ohio Department of Health, will identify ways that healthcare providers can partner with transportation providers to increase timely access to healthcare and ultimately improve health outcomes for area residents. Additionally, improvements will help to create more efficiency for healthcare providers and potential cost savings.

So far, in addition to the health department, community partners for the transportation project include Knox Area Transit, Interchurch Social Services, Knox Community Hospital and Knox County Dental. The project hopes to include all stakeholders, including patients and their families, agency staff, other transportation providers and community groups to provide input on how to improve access to healthcare.

As an initial step, the collaborative is conducting a survey at social service agencies and healthcare offices to identify issues and get input from public. The survey is directed toward maternal-aged women (up to 44 years of age), and children, ages 0-21 years.

As a result of the project, the collaborative hopes to identify the issues, increase communication, provide suggestions for implementation and offer best practice recommendations for moving forward. When the project is complete a final report will be issued and available for the public.

For more information or to get involved, contact Alayna Anderson at the health department, 740-392-2200, ext. 2232, or aanderson@knoxhealth.com

 

 

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