WeCAB service receives honor

From left, Pamela Myers and Mike Skinner, WeCAB, and Richard L. Jackson, CEO, Jackson Healthcare, are pictured at the national awards ceremony at which WeCAB was named a “Program of Promise.” (Submitted Photo)

From left, Pamela Myers and Mike Skinner, WeCAB, and Richard L. Jackson, CEO, Jackson Healthcare, are pictured at the national awards ceremony at which WeCAB was named a “Program of Promise.” (Submitted Photo)

The WeCAB transportation service, a volunteer-based program funded by Ridgeview Medical Center to operate a low-cost transport service to area residents, recently was named a Program of Promise by Jackson Healthcare for its work addressing underserved community health and prevention needs. There were 191 hospital community and charitable service programs nominated for the 2012 Hospital Charitable Service Awards; 10 received the awards and four others, including WeCAB, received the Program of Promise designation and $2,500.
WeCAB (Western Communities Area Busing), a nonprofit organization, serves the communities of Navarre, Spring Park, Mound, Minnetrista, St. Bonifacius and Maple Plain with trips to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Ridgeview Westonka Clinic in Spring Park and weekend trips to Wayzata Park-and-Ride. Ridgeview provided $20,000 in 2011 to help fund the WeCAB pilot program after a survey showed that half of local residents polled had trouble making it to their appointments at Ridgeview due to transportation issues.
“Ridgeview is committed to helping meet the needs of communities and patients we serve, including providing assistance in getting them to the clinic and access to the health care services they need,” said Robert Stevens, Ridgeview president and CEO. “We’re very proud to support this important community program, which, since October 2011, has provided nearly 2,200 rides – totaling more than 22,000 miles – to area residents.”
WeCAB is not a replacement for existing transportation but is designed to supplement public transportation. It operates on a system of a suggested donation of $2.50 per one-way trip. Drivers are volunteers and drive their own vehicles. There have been 40 volunteer drivers since the program began, with more than 1,200 volunteer hours provided.
For more information about WeCAB, including how to use the service, to volunteer as a driver or dispatcher, or to sponsor the program or make a donation, visit www.wecab.org.
To learn more about starting a WeCAB program in your community, send an email to info@wecab.org.

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