City of Lakewood Seeking Applicants for Transportation Accessibility Pilot Program | The City of Lakewood, Ohio
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City of Lakewood Seeking Applicants for Transportation Accessibility Pilot Program

May 21, 2019

The City of Lakewood is accepting applications for a new pilot Transportation Accessibility Program (TAP) that will serve residents of Lakewood aged 18-59 who are considered to have a permanent disability, offering them round-trip transportation services, twice a month, to their routine medical care appointments.

The one-year long pilot is supported by a $60,000 grant from the Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA). Once the pilot is completed, and best practices are identified, this transportation program will be supported with an endowment of $1.7 million from LHA. “LHA is honored to have served the community for so many years. In addition to the Healthy Lakewood Foundation, LHA is establishing this endowment to fund non-emergency medical transport for a very, very long time,” said Tom Gable, Chair of the LHA Board of Trustees. “This support is a part of the legacy Lakewood Hospital is leaving behind to benefit the community.”

The Lakewood Foundation will serve as the fiscal agent facilitating the gift from LHA and the City of Lakewood. “For more than 20 years, the Lakewood Foundation has provided careful financial stewardship to Lakewood not-for-profit organizations large and small—from H2O to the Lakewood Community Baseball Association,” said Karen Lee, President of the Lakewood Foundation. “We’re honored to partner with the Lakewood Hospital Association to provide this important service for Lakewood residents in need.”

TAP is focused on reaching residents that do not currently qualify for or receive other transportation support. “Transportation and access to healthcare is one of the most critical keys to achieving health and wellness,” said Toni Gelsomino, City of Lakewood Director of Human Services. “The City of Lakewood has a long history of supporting non-emergency medical transportation for older residents in our community, but there has been a need for the same transportation services for residents ages 18-59. We are fortunate to have this opportunity thanks to the financial support of the Lakewood Hospital Association in offering a pilot. This will give us a formal design for the future.”

The City is partnering with Senior Transportation Connection (STC) to provide scheduling and transportation services. STC and the Department of Human Services are working together to explore a menu of transportation options for residents, potentially including Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. These types of creative solutions will maximize the number of residents TAP is able to serve.

“Innovative projects like the Transportation Accessibility Pilot enable us to find new and improved ways to serve our residents and be excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Summers. “We are grateful to the Lakewood Hospital Association for their generosity and commitment to our community.”

TAP is scheduled to begin in May 2019. Residents or caregivers interested in participating in this pilot program are asked to visit http://www.onelakewood.com/tap/ to learn more about the program and access the application. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis with no formal deadline.