November 27, 2019

Jumping in a car to go wherever you need go, whenever you need to go there, may be something many of us take for granted.

At CHAS Health, a number of our patients do not have reliable modes of transportation to access their health care appointments. They may not own a car, or if they do, gas may be cost prohibitive. Others rely on bus transportation, but occasionally need a little assistance purchasing a bus pass.

Certain medical diagnosis require more frequent access to care, which means expending more of your budget on transportation costs. For example, in addition to regular primary care visits, a patient diagnosed with cancer significantly increases the number of medical appointments they must make to see their oncologist and other cancer care providers.

Year after year, the Pink Shamrock Foundation has provided transportation assistance for our patients who have breast cancer. CHAS Health pays for bus passes for patients in need of transportation assistance, and gas gift cards paid for by the Pink Shamrock Foundation assist patients who rely on their own transportation to access medical appointments. The gas gift cards are particularly helpful for patient who reside in rural areas and must travel into a city to access cancer treatment.

Our patients are incredibly thankful for this assistance. We were pleased to share with the Pink Shamrock Foundation some of the stories our staff heard from patients who received gas gift cards this year:

Cheryl was so happy when I described the program to her that she started to cry! She said, “I was just sitting here wondering how I was going to get to Spokane.”  She lives out of town and the gas card will help her afford her trips to the cancer specialist.

Mary told me that this was “such a blessing at a really hard time” and that getting to take part in the program without having to do any paperwork “renews my faith in people”.

Lynda told me she is retired and was very grateful, saying: “Every little bit helps.” She is on a fixed income and lives (in her words) “out in the middle of nowhere” and this will help her get to her appointments.

Janet is currently unable to work and is living with her daughter and granddaughter. Her granddaughter drives her to and from appointments and she is thrilled to be able to “pitch in” thanks to the gas gift card. She said they are on a tight budget and that she really appreciates the extra help.

As you can see from these stories, the gas gift cards mean much more than the face value of the cards. This assistance provides people with hope and joy. Thank you to the Pink Shamrock Foundation for impacting the lives of the people who we are honored to serve!

This blog post part of a special CHAS Health series for #GivingTuesday 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide. During the Thanksgiving season, it is easy to get swept up in the fervor of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, will kick off the giving season and inspire people to collaborate and give back. Follow CHAS Health on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.