HealthTran Receives $499,906 from Missouri Foundation for Health
Jefferson City, MO, December 5, 2013– Southeast Missouri Transportation Service, Inc. was awarded $499,906 on behalf of HealthTran partners to study the impact of providing public transportation services in conjunction with service delivery coordination services. The project is focused on services for individuals presenting at the hospital emergency room or local community health centers with mouth pain, chronic diabetes and hypertension and also indicate a lack of consistent reliable transportation.
SMTS will contract with the Missouri Rural Health Association (MRHA) to administer the grant, with support from the Missouri Public Transit Association. Other HealthTran partners include Ozarks Medical Center, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, Missouri Ozarks Community Health, OATS, Inc., and Southern Missouri Community Health Center. HealthTran will be implemented in the south central region of Missouri in the counties of Christian, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.
Suzanne Alewine, executive director for the Missouri Rural Health Association, states that “rural communities have limited resources for addressing problems or barriers and one of the greatest barriers to healthcare in rural Missouri is transportation. This funding will help HealthTran formalize its efforts to improve health status for those enrolled in the project through service delivery coordination and public transportation.”
“On a national basis, transportation reliably ranks high as a principle barrier in rural citizens seeking healthcare” says Brock Slabach, Sr. Vice-President of the National Rural Health Association, “we’re pleased to see a project like this dedicated to finding solutions to rural transportation issues.”
Funding for the project was provided in part by The Missouri Foundation for Health. The Missouri Foundation for Health is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves. The Missouri Public Transportation Association is also a key partner and supporter of the effort.
Missouri Public Transportation Association director, Doris Boeckman, states, “This funding presents an opportunity to evaluate the role public transportation plays in improving health status. By linking patients with transportation needs to affordable public transportation that is both reliable and consistent, we believe HealthTran can and will demonstrate that public transportation has a positive impact on clinical outcomes for patients, particularly patients with chronic conditions. MPTA is interested in the results of this project as a way to advocate for additional resources for public transportation in the State of Missouri. Missouri ranks 40th in per capita funding for public transportation. Without additional resources, transportation will continue to be a huge barrier to accessing essential and preventive healthcare.”
The Missouri Rural Health Association is a non-profit, grass-roots, member-driven organization whose mission is to safeguard and improve the health of rural Missourians. MRHA accomplishes its mission by engaging in partnerships and providing leadership on rural issues through advocacy, communication, education, and research. The Missouri Public Transit Association was founded in 1980 to represent the interests, policies, requirement and purposes of public transportation in Missouri and values personal mobility as a basic quality of life.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Suzanne Alewine at Missouri Rural Health Association or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.