Today, we are announcing an expansion of our free cancer support services with the launch of a transportation program that offers rides to and from cancer-related medical appointments in Travis County. Fueled by volunteer drivers, the program is made possible with funding from the Seton Shivers Center and volunteer management by Faith in Action Caregivers (FIAC). Car2Go, a LIVESTRONG corporate partner, has also joined in the effort by creating a promotional code for drivers on assignment to use their vehicles at no cost. The transportation program is a welcome addition to the Foundation?s robust stable of free services that help cancer survivors and their families cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany a diagnosis.
Since June 2011, the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center in Austin identified more than 200 local clients in need of a reliable form of transportation, and this year alone, more than 1,000 cancer patients in Texas cited a need for transportation according to our program partners, the Patient Advocate Foundation. Access to care in Austin is made more complicated due to the lack of a comprehensive cancer center in the region. Most patients have to make separate trips to see their primary physician, oncologist and other specialists, whose offices may stretch throughout the city. Coupled with the sheer volume of appointments, some patients find it impossible to make every trip to receive the care they so sorely need.
Upon recognizing the need, the Foundation took action to help fill this gap in Travis County by reaching out to partners to create this transportation program. Though many Travis County residents have already signed up to volunteer, more assistance is needed to fill out a corps of drivers. Anyone who has a valid driver?s license, meets the state minimum insurance coverage and has a safe, reliable car is encouraged to sign up on the program?s webpage. Those in need of a ride may contact the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center online or call 1-855-220-7777.
At the Foundation we are always looking for new ways to fill the gaps in care and find the best ways to assist cancer survivors and their families. We will be using this new transportation program as a pilot and it is our hope to some day replicate these efforts across the country where the need is great.