We Drive Rural Health
HealthTran is a volunteer driver program, with the mission to safeguard and improve the health of rural Missourians. HealthTran closes the transportation gap and empowers communities by allowing rural Missourians to schedule rides to and from their health and wellness visits.
Across Missouri, town hall meetings identified transportation as one of the top two barriers faced by rural communities. Rural transportation is limited, restrictive, expensive, and difficult to find. HealthTran began in 2014, as a pilot program, to learn if transportation actually improves rural health outcomes. The answer is yes. Check out this article, Meeting the Transportation Needs of Rural Communities.
HealthTran was designed to address transportation limitations and barriers, with a primary focus on health and social determinants of health that affect Missourians and their communities. In finding a sustainable solution, with the flexibility to meet the needs and barriers of the unique Missouri landscape, HealthTran developed a multifaceted approach that includes:
- Strengthening healthcare access through collaboration, Mobility Management, advocacy, and sustainability.
- Creating a one-stop Ride Scheduling Platform for a simple, quick, and effective ride scheduling, thus reducing stress for workers and cancellations and no-shows for healthcare providers and agencies.
- Enhancing local and new transportation options with the MHRA Volunteer Driver Program.
- Sharing information on government-funded programs and other resources to enhance transportation options.
How HealthTran works:
- A community champion brings the program to life. A champion is usually a dedicated health provider but can be anyone.
- HealthTran partners with community champions, agencies, and stakeholders to determine where people need to go, the distance to care, and gaps that need to be filled to offer accessible transportation to their clients.
- HealthTran recruits qualified Volunteer Drivers with a heart for service and desire to change lives to supplement these options.
- Community agencies schedule rides for their clients using the HealthTran Ride Scheduling Platform by selecting the best fitting and most affordable option.
- Many of these rides are passed on to Volunteer Drivers who pick up and transport clients to their scheduled appointments.
- HealthTran provides support and coordination every step of the way.
Why is sufficient transportation necessary in rural Missouri?
- Growing senior and disabled populations face additional barriers accessing adequate health care. When unmet transportation needs are added, health outcomes worsen.
- A lack of access to quick medical attention results in worsened conditions and higher medical costs.
- Closures of rural hospitals and clinics create health care deserts where those without transportation may not have any options within a reachable distance.
The goal of HealthTran is to reduce emergency room use and missed appointments. Delivering transportation in communities means access to food, medicine, and other wellness services. Lack of access to sufficient, immediate, and affordable health care contributes to poor quality of life, especially for those facing additional barriers outside of transportation. HealthTran’s services work to find multiple solutions so community members and agencies are empowered to make the choice that best fits their needs. The supplemental Rider Program engages community support for Missourians by connecting volunteer drivers to residents in need of transportation.
HealthTran’s approach to quality transportation
HealthTran takes a personalized approach to developing individual, organization, and community healthcare transportation solutions. We collaborate with health and social care providers to create an innovative community environment improving access to care and health outcomes. Our strong sense of identification with the individuals and organizations we serve means that we constantly strive to provide solutions that meet our partner’s needs. We take a progressive approach to technology and value seamless interaction with HealthTran members to ensure the best value for their membership.
- A flexible solution designed to meet your intricate needs.
- Assistance with transportation coordination through locally based HealthTran coordinators.
- The latest technology to meet the needs of riders, partners, and drivers.
- Friendly volunteer drivers with a heart for service.
HealthTran currently serves countless communities and counties.
We are looking for Community Launch Sponsors, usually healthcare providers, to help expand transportation access in rural Missouri. For more information, contact Reagan Alewine, HealthTran Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional helpful transportation resources:
- National Aging and Disability Transportation Center NADTC
- National Transit Database
- The Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
- Transit Planning for All