In December, 2019, the Anthem Foundation awarded Friends of Gwinnett Seniors, Inc. a generous grant award to encourage disabled and transportation-challenged participants to avoid skipping scheduled appointments due to financial hardship.
Since 2009, the affordable Get In Gear transportation program, partially funded by a federal 5310 grant that requires a local cost share, has been allowing its riders to purchase subsidized vouchers, thereby keeping the costs under control for door-through-door 24/7 service availability. Every year, 14,000+ trips are taken by disabled Gwinnett adults, and many of these rides are taken by chronic disease patients for therapy or dialysis treatments.
In fact, when the program began, it was estimated that 10-15% of the ridership would be high-use riders. The reality is that 40%+ of the yearly ridership needs to make 12-14 round trips per month and these program participants are responsible for a 25% co-pay when they purchase as packet of vouchers.
The objective of the Anthem Foundation grant is to overcome financial limitations and reduce noncompliance for scheduled dialysis or chemotherapy treatments by offering co-pay scholarship support as needed.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic alert has allowed Anthem Foundation funds to be leveraged to support a number of other disabled riders in addition to dialysis or cancer patients with financial challenges. Many seniors are fearful during this unsettling health crisis, but compliance with scheduled medical commitments is a means of reducing their vulnerability to contracting the coronavirus.