PSR receives grants for medical transportation
Published 3:02 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Piedmont Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging (PSR) recently received $17,500 in successful grant applications for its expanding non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) program, along with more than $1,500 in private donations and fundraisers.
Since the senior medical transportation program kicked off in mid-December, the nonprofit’s sole five-passenger, handicap-accessible minivan has been on the road just about every day of the week, and has successfully transported seniors to more than 50 medical appointments, ranging from dental visits, routine check-ups and specialized appointments. Seniors, ago 60 and older, residing in Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Nottoway, Lunenburg and Prince Edward, are eligible for service.
Seniors interested in the program only need call (434) 767-5588, PSR’s central office telephone number, to determine qualification and schedule an appointment.
“We’re so proud of the great amount of seniors the agency has been able to help in only eight working weeks, excluding holidays,” said PSR Chief Executive Officer Justine A. Young. “As demand shows, this is a much-needed service, and we’re here to help seniors who have missed appointment after appointment due to lack of accessible transportation.”
Impact1890 LLC, a grant-making organization that supports seniors aging in place, awarded PSR $15,500 for the NEMT program.
According to Impact1890’s website, “In 2014, the Board of Trustees of National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) authorized the establishment of a grant-making program to award funding to other nonprofit organizations that provide services primarily to underserved seniors. Since that time, nearly $1 million in grants have been made to more than 50 organizations.”
“We are taking appointments daily, and we want our phones to ring off the hook with seniors calling to schedule medical appointments,” said PSR Transportation and Nutrition Director Jordan Miles. “The seniors we have transported are so, so thankful for this service. Our team of dedicated volunteer drivers and paid staff are steadfast in our mission to safely transport our clients to and from their medical appointments while advocating for their independence in their homes.”
Hampden-Sydney College’s (H-SC) Philanthropy Course, led by Elliott Professor of Economics and Business Dr. Saranna Thornton, recently awarded $2,500 to PSR for medical transportation. PSR was one of only four entities that received funding.
“As you may recall, the Learning By Giving Foundation provides us with a $5,000 grant to support the class donations, I am supporting the class with a gift of $2,500 of my own to H-SC to be used by the class, and the college is providing the remaining $2,500 as part of its Experiential Learning Initiative,” Thornton said. “The Learning By Giving Foundation requires that the minimum grant award to each organization we support be $2,500, with no maximum specified.”
Young and Miles offered their thanks to the organizations, along with the various individuals and businesses that have donated and fundraised for the new service.
“We are humbled and grateful for these gifts of support,” Young said. “Without the community support, we wouldn’t be able to get this service off the ground as we have been able to do.”
“Through a grant from the Department and Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), which included a local match, we were able to secure funding for a five-passenger, handicap-accessible minivan,” Miles said of the vehicle used to transport seniors. “We have applied for two additional vehicles, which we would be awarded in 2020 should our application be successful.”
“We’re reaching out to seniors who are living on fixed incomes with barriers to transportation who may not have otherwise been able to get to their doctor or health care professional to address their needs. These are seniors living in isolated areas with very isolated social interaction,” Miles added.
Miles said the agency is also looking for volunteer drivers to safely transport seniors to and from their medical appointments. The next training course for volunteers is Friday, March 15, from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
PSR has scheduled “VA Days” — transportation for veterans to the McGuire Veterans Affairs Hospital in Richmond — for March 7, April 4, May 9 and June 6.
For more information, call Miles at (434) 767-5588, email jmiles@PSRAAA.org or visit www.psraaa.org.