OneWorld Community Health Centers is excited to announce the launch of a new patient transportation program designed to give low-income patients easier access to OneWorld’s health care services. The program was officially launched on Aug. 17, 2016, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at OneWorld’s headquarters at the historic Livestock Exchange Campus in Omaha, 4920 S. 30th Street.

According to the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by nearby counties in Nebraska and Iowa, inadequate access to transportation hindered doctor’s visits for 9.1 percent of residents in southeast Omaha. In addition, lack of transportation interfered with health care access for a greater percentage of uninsured patients (14.7 percent) than insured patients (4.5 percent).

Many of OneWorld’s patients live in low-income households that own only one car. In most families, one or both parents need a car for work. Travel by public transportation may pose multiple challenges for low-income patients who are disabled, who are elderly, and who have small children. Patients who are recent immigrants or who do not speak English fluently may not understand bus schedules or routes. And cost is a factor for families who are struggling to just provide the necessities of life that we all take for granted.

“When patients miss medical appointments because they don’t have transportation, their overall health may be at risk,” said Andrea Skolkin, OneWorld’s CEO. “For patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, transportation to appointments is crucial for their ongoing care and medication.”

With generous donations from the Weitz family and the Immanuel Vision Foundation, OneWorld was able to purchase and staff two vans to provide patient transportation to our community health center. Now, more patients have access to the basic health care they need, at a price they can afford.

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