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United Way's new Ride2Health Program provides rideshare program for health care appointments

Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 22:43:03-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Lack of transportation is one of the biggest reasons many people in the Brazos Valley do not make it to their appointments.

Thanks to a new Ride2Health program launched by United Way, there is help on the way.

Imagine needing to get to a doctor's appointment, but you can't make it because you don't have a mode of transportation.

"Every time we do a 'needs assessment' transportation is one of the top issues," said Liz Dickey, executive director of Health for All.

Dickey said it's been a running problem for more than a decade despite their best efforts.

"We have looked at different ways of giving bus vouchers or trying to have volunteers actually give rides. And we just didn't have the infrastructure in place to make it a program that works and was sustainable until now," Dickey said.

United Way is launching the Ride2Health program, which allows volunteers to pick up residents who need to access Health for All.

"We wanted to make sure we have a full spectrum to serve. And we also want to make sure we have different types of organizations so when we pilot, it's more realistic," Peggy Goss, vice president of Community Impact, United Way said.

"When I am meeting with a client and evaluating them to see whether they have a problem or not, and we find out that they do have a substance abuse disorder and need treatment, but then they sit there and look at you and say 'I have no way to get here,' it's devastating," said Cindy Soltis, director of treatment and prevention at BV CASA.

The program will provide relief to organizations that want to help their clients.

United Way was able to put the wheels in motion after receiving a $25,000 grant from State Farm. Dickey said she's thankful for the community's support, contributing with votes.

"I could not be more proud to be a part of a community that, when we ask them to show up, they did in a big way," Dickey said.

Right now United Way is looking for volunteers to get the program started.

United Way expects to launch the Ride2Health by mid to late November.