By SHANNON WATKINS
Giles County has a new non-emergency health transportation service known as Giles County Rural Equity in Access to Community Health, or G-REACH. The service is aimed at low-income residents of Giles. G-REACH’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 30 was attended by Delegate Joseph Yost, though the service has been in operation since March.
G-REACH is funded by a three-year Rural Health Outreach Grant, which was awarded to the Giles Free Clinic by the Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Rural Health Policy. G-REACH was developed after G-NET, the Giles County Health Network, discovered that the main obstacle to health care access in Giles was transportation.
Of this, says Giles County Health & Family Center Transportation Director Darlene Sadler, “I have very dependable drivers. We wouldn’t be where we are without the drivers.” Sadler says she has five drivers and gets about five calls a week for the service, “but it is growing.” She expects to see more calls as word spreads.
G-REACH provides transportation to and from outpatient medical appointments, including behavioral health, dental, vision and NVL CARES Parenting Young Children Courses, but not inpatient or emergency services. To qualify for G-REACH, users must be a low-income resident of Giles County, and not eligible for Medicaid-covered medical transportation or Agency on Aging medical transportation, though exception may be made for the latter if Agency on Aging transportation is not available. Users also cannot have been barred from another medical transportation service for misuse.
“I’m just excited to be a part of it and watch us grow,” said Sadler. “It’s good. Everyone I’ve worked with has been wonderful.”
G-REACH operates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (540) 921-3024 or visit their website at HYPERLINK “http://www.gileshealthnet.org/g-reach.php” www.gileshealthnet.org/g-reach.php.