Affordable medical transportation now available in Bath Highland regions
Valley Program for Aging Services is now bringing low-cost transportation to residents 60 and over in Bath and Highland counties. VPAS offers travel by van to medical appointments in and outside the region for $4 to $10 per patient roundtrip.
“Residents in Bath and Highland struggle to get to doctor appointments because of the lack of public transportation,” said Kathryn Coit, regional director for the Bath Highland region. “We’ve come up with a solution that should help ease the burden on family members and friends.”
Over one-quarter of residents in the Bath Highland region are aged 60 or older.
The service, available immediately, will provide transportation to residents of Bath County on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Transportation will be available to Highland residents on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Additional times may be available upon request.
The cost varies based on location of the individual and treatment facility. The cost is $2 each way within the individual’s county of residence, and $5 each way for travel to any adjoining counties including Augusta Health in Fishersville, Alleghany and Rockbridge counties and Clifton Forge.
In addition to medical transportation, the service will also cover social outings.
“I enjoy being able to bring a smile to the face of someone who has paved the way for the world around me,” said Dorothy Stephenson, the transportation coordinator for the program. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people who came before me and who helped shape the world I live in today.”
Drivers for the program are Mike Handlin for Bath County and James “Hap” Darragh for Highland County. Both drivers have successfully completed a National Safety Council Defensive Driving course, a 15-Passenger Van Driver Improvement Course and behind-the-wheel testing. Handlin has also successfully completed Passenger Service and Safety Training, Wheelchair Securement and Lift Training.
The program is funded in part by a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. For more information, contact Senior Transportation Coordinator Dorothy Stephenson at (540) 468-3499 or 280-7975.
Drivers for Bath Highland Senior Transportation are Mike Handlin (left) for Bath County and James “Hap” Darragh (right) for Highland County. Handlin has been a van driver for the Bath Community Senior Center since October 2011. Darragh, a former Monterey business owner, has recently returned to Highland County and accepted the van driver position for VPAS in Highland County.
More information online at www.VPASBathHighland.org.