With demand for its existing van skyrocketing over the past year, the Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) has welcomed the recent arrival of a new accessible vehicle.  

HHHS was able to get the new Dodge van, that seats seven people plus two wheelchairs, thanks in part to funding from the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation.  

Stephanie MacLaren, VP, community programs said the van will help Community Support Services to meet the growing need for medically-related transportation.

This includes group travel to regional dialysis, adult day and mental health programming. She added it will be instrumental in addressing transportation needs for the Haliburton County Youth Hub.  

“Transportation is such a challenge in rural communities such as ours,” MacLaren said. With ever-increasing demand, she added, “We are very pleased to be able to better address the needs of our community. Through transportation programs such as ours, clients are able to attend programming that not only supports them with their medical needs but also helps to reduce isolation and provide respite to caregivers.”  

She said HHHS hopes to be able to continue to grow this component of their programming.  

Foundation executive director Lisa Tompkins was on hand to welcome the van.  

“Being able to attend medical appointments and supportive programs is a key component of the health and wellness journey for so many, and the Foundation is pleased to be able to support HHHS’ delivery of service with the addition of this accessible van,” she said.  

Through a combination of the volunteer driving program and the accessible van, the HHHS transportation program provided 13,500 rides to 545 residents of Haliburton County over the past year.  

The program is offered to adults over 55 years of age and adults 18 years or older with a disability. Client fees apply.

Call the HHHS transportation coordinator at 705457-2941 for more information.

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