Sinai Chicago Offers Free Rides to Remove Barriers to Health Access

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Sinai Chicago
Image by MarkBuckawicki (Wikimedia Public Domain)

Sinai Chicago is offering free rides to all patients — in the hospital’s service area — to their medical appointments. According to a report from Block Club Chicago, written on Sept. 20, 2021, patients can now receive free transportation to any of the medical system’s clinics, hospitals, or offices for any check-up, procedure, or health appointment.

The lack of transportation seems to be a major obstacle for many Latino and Black Chicagoans from receiving medical care. The Sinai Chicago program allows anyone in their local area door-to-door transportation services. A person can set up transportation by calling 630-903-2949.

A 2015 Virginia Commonwealth University health inequities left Chicago’s West Side with a life expectancy 16 years shorter than those who live in wealthy neighborhoods.

Sinai Chicago
Image by Eric Allix Rogers (Flickr CC0)

Chief operating officer for Sinai Chicago, Airica Steed, stated that every day they “see the end result of how transportation barriers impact people’s lives and livelihoods.” She added, “Ultimately it translates into not having the same life expectancy of those living less than 10 miles away downtown.”

The transportation program was developed after Sinai Chicago took stock of the top reasons local patients were missed, delayed, or canceled vital health appointments. Focus groups and community outreach was conducted in order to see what issues the community faces for their health care.

Vice president for ambulatory hospitality services for Sinai Chicago, Denise Walker, stated the hospital conducted its research to “drill down why the patient population was not showing up.”

The data collected shows that up to 17 percent of the health system’s clients missed appointments due to the lack of transportation. This is one of the top things they needed to have fixed in order for them to take better care of their health.

According to data collected by the American Hospital Association, over 3.6 million people in the United States do not have proper medical care due to the lack of transportation.

Steed stated this data, “further compounded in the most vulnerable communities for a variety of reasons including not having access to vehicles, not having the proper infrastructure, or being too far away from their healthcare providers, and the cost of transportation.”

Written by Shena Robertson


Block Club Chicago: Sinai Chicago Offers Free Rides To Patients In Effort To Remove Barriers To Health Access; Pascal Sabino

Top and Featured Image by MarkBuckawicki Courtesy of Wikimedia – Public Domain License

Inset Image Courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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