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ELDERLY AFFAIRS Teamwork allows cancer patients free rides to doctor's appointments



Published: Thu, June 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The first such patient trip was Wednesday.

WARREN -- The Trumbull County Office of Elderly Affairs and the American Cancer Society are teaming up to make sure older cancer patients can get to the doctor or hospital.

The ACS will provide free transportation for the rest of this year to all cancer patients 60 years of age and older who live in Trumbull County.

This was made possible by a $1,500 grant from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

It's important to the county agency because it has cut back on transportation to and from doctor's appointments.

The ACS dollars will cover all points in Trumbull County that cancer patients need to visit, including hospitals.

Experimental arrangement

Gary Engstrom, office director, said the first such patient trip was Wednesday. He said the arrangement with the ACS is an experiment and, should it prove successful, might lead to a more permanent funding arrangement.

"It's a target population that has fallen through the cracks," Engstrom said of the older cancer patients, many of whom have to maintain a set regimen of visits and treatments. "We've agreed to meet those needs at a cost that is far below the market."

To schedule a ride, call the cancer society at (888) ACS-OHIO (888-227-6446).

"For some families, getting transportation for their mother or father to and from treatment, or to the doctor's is a major concern -- especially when people have to work or have young children to care for," said Karen Bulford, the local ACS patient navigator.

The Office of Elderly Affairs this year had to make changes in how it gets some people to meal sites, to the doctor and to stores. The office's van services were cut because of a county cash crunch.




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