Richard Kauffman is the Opportunity House driver who transports shelter clients to medical appointments in Berks County. Several times a month, Richard transports clients to the Lebanon VA Medical Center.
We asked George Bolton, Shelter Director at Opportunity House to share why transportation services are vital to helping clients maintain good physical and mental health.
Why is providing transportation to medical appointments important to Opportunity House clients?
Clients rely on our transportation services to get to medical appointments for a variety of reasons. Clients with underlying health conditions find it difficult to walk to the bus stop and walk from the bus stop to the doctor’s office. Without onsite transportation, they are not able to go to appointments.
Those with walkers or wheelchairs need alternative transportation. Many of our clients have never applied for special needs public transportation. We assist them in applying for those services and provide transportation to appointment until they become qualified for services.
Taking clients directly to the provider helps improve compliance and can decrease anxiety related to medical appointments. It helps create a more positive experience and fosters new habits for their long-term success.
Transportation to the Veterans Administration is key for Veterans so that they stay connected with their medical provider and in some circumstances get necessary prescriptions for medical conditions.
George Bolton, shelter director, notes that when clients do not have transportation to their o their necessary appointments, it jeopardizes their health. It’s difficult to have them prioritize their health when they lack the transportation to attend visits.
Losing access to health care and declines in health status often result in increased severity of medical conditions including mental health symptoms. “Our goal is to have clients maintain or improve their health while they are with us. Providing transportation is an essential function to meeting that goal.”
Your support of Opportunity House ensures that all clients have access to health care throughout the year.