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More Than Wheels Campaign Paves the Way to Raising Funds for Patient Transportation

Fundraiser More Than Wheels Campaign Paves the Way to Raising Funds for Patient Transportation 

Clearlake, Calif.—St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s More Than Wheels Campaign has raised $92,600 in gifts and pledges to raise funds to purchase new ADA-compliant patient transportation vehicles and to help cover an additional driver’s salary for a year. The Campaign will also establish an “After Hours” Fund to cover bus and cab fare for patients during the weekends and evening hours when the transportation program is unavailable. 

When the hospital reaches its goal of $135,000, Adventist Health will match the community’s commitment by purchasing another vehicle so that there will be two free shuttles available to help alleviate a growing problem with patient transportation. These vehicles will replace the hospital’s current bus, which is becoming unreliable due to high use and age. 

Up to 30 percent of Lake County residents do not own a vehicle, which means they must rely on friends, family or public transportation to get to and from vital appointments or tests. Having transportation options will help patients to access the care they need. “A third of patients can’t make it to their medical appointments because they don’t have a ride,” says Jim Robello, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s Development Council Chair. “We are making great progress toward our goal of $135,000.” 

The Campaign’s focus is broader than just providing a ride: the Development Council is ensuring that Lake County residents have access to the medical care they need. “Many of my patients are seniors who are unable to drive themselves to their appointments,” states Dr. Marc Shapiro, St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s Chief Medical Officer and a member of the Development Council. “Often there are people who arrive at the hospital because of an emergency and struggle to find a way back home.” 

With clinics in Middletown, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Lower Lake and Clearlake, the hospital has extended wellness services throughout Lake County. While this means quality health care is available close to home for most residents, getting to each clinic still remains a challenge. “The transportation issue has only grown worse since the Valley Fire,” laments Linda Lopez, a patient registration associate at the St. Helena Family Health Center – Middletown. Lopez regularly observes patients scheduling their appointments based on the ability to travel instead of on what is best for their health. 

St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s Development Council has been instrumental in development of the Campaign and participation in events including the hospitals’ Charity Golf Tournament & Silent Auction held in May. The Council is made up of David Santos, President & CEO of St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake; Shapiro; Robello, retired Chief Executive of AAMGI; Conrad Colbrandt, General Manager of Redbud Health Care District; Madi Mount, owner of Boatique Winery; Dr. Corey Warner, St. Helena Medical Care – Hidden Valley Lake; Carl Webb, retired Lake County Sheriff’s Lieutenant; Randy Krag, Manager of Beckstoffer Vineyards; Stephanie Codling, retired from the Lake County Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Pari Azari, Live Well Program Medical Director; Charlotte Griswold, philanthropist and retired educator; and Sarah Anzano, Branch Manager of Mendo Lake Credit Union in Clearlake. 

Contributions to the More Than Wheels Campaign can be made online. For more information about giving to St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake, contact Rebecca Southwick, CFRE, at 707-995-5677 or southwrj@ah.org