This week on The Local Take I talk with community experts about Rides To Wellness, a program that began with a grant from the Federal Transportation Administration to help strengthen the Affordable Care Act. My guests are Ben Limmer, Assistant General Manager for MARTA, Amanda Tyner, Rides To Wellness Coordinator with the Atlanta Regional Commission, and Sherard Polite, health educator at the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority.
Many of us recognize the phrase "Access To Care" and most often it refers to having insurance, but another challenge is actual transportation.
Ben Limmer explains that MARTA carries over 400,000 passengers each year and joined forces with the Atlanta Regional Commission and health systems Grady, Mercy Care, Choice and the Morehouse School of Medicine to create Rides to Wellness. This initiative to increase transportation and access to health care was to improve health outcomes while reducing health cost.
Amanda Tyler shares that participants in the program increased their wellness days and even found jobs once they were provided with passes or reduced fares on MARTA. Over 200 participants have been enrolled in the program.
Sherard Polite explained that research shows a clear corelation between transportation and health outcomes. He also speaks about communities without access to grocery stores also don't have access to pharmacies.
There will be a Rides To Wellness Summit taking place on June 20th at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta. Community organiztion and members with concerns about transportation and health are welcome to attend.
To register for the Rides To Wellness Summit
For more information about MARTA
For more information about the Atlanta Regional Commission
For more information about the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority