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Project addresses transportation barriers

The Wayne County Health Department, Community Action Wayne/Medina, the Wayne County Family and Children First Council, and the Wayne County Transportation Coalition have completed the first phase of a project on transportation barriers to maternal and child health-care appointments.
The project was done in conjunction with a larger Maternal and Child Health grant, which the Wayne County Health Department was awarded for 2017. The transportation component was conducted by Leslie Baus, the Wayne County mobility coordinator at Community Action Wayne/Media.
Baus collaborated with the Wayne County Family and Children First Council and the Wayne County Transportation Coalition to reach out to community members, health-care professionals and community organizations to get their input on access to health care as it relates to maternal and child health.
More than 300 surveys were distributed countywide, and 180 were completed. Interviews and focus groups also were held over the course of eight months. Data collection for the Wayne County Locally Coordinated Health and Human Services Transportation Plan also was conducted during the same period, and results from it mirror the results from the Maternal and Child Health project.
Lack of affordable and reliable transportation, especially in rural areas, can directly lead to negative impacts on the health of citizens of all ages but disproportionately impacts older, disabled, poor and rural residents. Data from the surveys and interviews that were conducted revealed some of the following barriers to health care:
Lack of a county-wide bus system that links communities; lack of a consistent and city-wide bus service in Wooster; not having funds for car repairs, insurance and gas; not having a driver’s license; not having enough Medicaid rides to go to appointments; and not having a car seat.
As a collaborative effort, this project looked to community organizations, members, and other transportation providers and community groups to provide input on how to improve access to health care. The following recommendations were made:
Find funding to provide low-cost or no-cost transportation to medical appointments, provide listing of transportation services, have a medical transportation shuttle, educate health-care providers and staff regarding the transportation challenges their clients face, and provide available transportation options.
The next phase of the Maternal and Child Health Transportation Project will begin in November 2017 when a work group will review the recommendations and create an action plan for implementing them.
If you have questions on this project or would like to get involved, call Baus at 330-264-8677 or email lbaus@cawm.org">lbaus@cawm.org.

Published: October 12, 2017
New Article ID: 2017171019965