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Adventist Health Patient Transportation Hits the Road Thanks to Local Collaboration

Community Partnerships

October 16, 2017 (Clearlake, Calif.) – Adventist Health Clear Lake has collaborated with two local organizations to assist patients who need transportation. Through a partnership with Lake Transit Authority (LTA) and a generous gift from Community First Credit Union, Adventist Health Clear Lake now has two vehicles available to shuttle patients to and from important medical appointments. 

The partnership with LTA allows the hospital to use a wheelchair-accessible 8-passenger minibus to transport patients who have difficulty getting to and from medical appointments in Lake County. “Residents who struggle with transportation in Lake County have expressed a need for a service that allows them to not only see their provider, but to accommodate labs and other health screenings following their medical appointments as well,” said Mark Wall, General Manager of LTA. “After learning that Adventist Health Clear Lake was fundraising to replace their patient transport vehicle, we approached them about using our available vehicle.” 

The bus was put into service by Adventist Health Clear Lake on June 30, 2017. Operated by an Adventist Health Clear Lake driver, the shuttle is already busy taking patients to and from medical appointments around the county. “It’s crucial that our patients reach their medical appointments as quickly, comfortably and as efficiently as possible,” said Garin Fuhriman, Director of Outpatient Operations at Adventist Health Clear Lake. “Lake Transit has allowed us to better fulfill our shared commitment to those in our community with transportation and health challenges.” 

Karl Parker, Mobility Programs Coordinator for LTA, understands the need for non-emergency patient medical transportation in the county. “LTA dispatchers and I talk regularly with individuals who are unable to take LTA’s fixed-route buses to non-emergency medical appointments because of the distance from their homes to stops, their specific medical issues and other challenges,” Parker said. “Partnerships like these and Lake Links’ Pay Your Pal program are effective, efficient ways to help.” 

The partnership with LTA follows Adventist Health Clear Lake’s successful 2016 fundraising campaign for a new vehicle. The More Than Wheels campaign met its goal thanks in part to a matching challenge grant of $15,000 from Community First Credit Union (formerly Mendo Lake Credit Union). The challenge grant rallied Adventist Health Clear Lake employees to give over $26,700 in support of the campaign. The result is a 2016 Ford Transit vehicle to replace the aging blue patient bus. The addition of the LTA coach means Adventist Health Clear Lake now has two comfortable, reliable vehicles to transport patients. 

“Our vision is to make health care in Lake County as accessible as possible, and collaborating with community partners who share this goal allows us to use our resources to thoughtfully serve our community,” said David Santos, Adventist Health Clear Lake President & CEO. “Through partnerships like this and the work we are doing with the Hope Rising coalition, we are seeing an improvement in quality of life in Lake County.” 

Both the new bus purchased by donations from the community and Community First Credit Union and the bus loaned from Lake Transit Authority operate Monday through Friday and travel throughout Lake County. Patients can request shuttle service when they make their medical appointment at Adventist Health Clear Lake Medical Office locations in Clearlake, Hidden Valley Lake, Kelseyville and Middletown or at the hospital

PHOTO CAPTION: Adventist Health Clear Lake development council members and driver Ryan Strugnell, left, pose with the patient shuttle purchased with matching funds form Community First Credit Union.