Asheville, NC – Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) and Project Access® are pleased to announce a new initiative to support patients who need assistance with transportation to get to their medical appointments. The Driving Access to Care initiative will provide transportation assistance in the form of taxi rides, bus passes and gas cards. This work is supported by an $20,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
“This funding from The Community Foundation means we have another resource to address a common barrier to people accessing needed healthcare,” says Elisa Quarles, CEO of WCMS. “We are grateful to have their support!”
WCMS’ Project Access provides free or low-cost comprehensive medical care to low-income, uninsured individuals, ranging from primary care, specialty care, inpatient surgeries, mental health and medications to interpreter services as well as referrals and navigation for socio-economic resources.
One of the most common barriers to Project Access patients accessing needed care is lack of transportation whether due to lack of a car, not having a driver’s license, or not having friends of family who are able to provide rides. Transportation barriers lead to rescheduled or missed appointments, delayed care, and missed or delayed medication use. These consequences may lead to poorer management of chronic illness and worse health outcomes.
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is a nonprofit organization established in 1978 to build a permanent pool of charitable capital for the 18 counties of Western North Carolina. It works with individuals, families and corporations to create and manage charitable funds and make grants to nonprofits or public agencies in our region.
The Western Carolina Medical Society’s mission is to advocate for healthy communities, increase access to affordable healthcare, fight health inequities, and promote wellness in WNC. Since 1885, WCMS has been highly respected for its leadership and innovation in addressing issues of access to affordable health care, disparities in health, and wellness promotion. Throughout its history, WCMS has been at the forefront of working collaboratively with area organizations to address the health challenges facing our community’s residents.