April 27, 2013 - Memorial Health Foundation, O’Neill Senior Center Increase Access to Medical Services

The need for healthcare services often grows for our senior population, but for many gaining physical access to services poses a serious problem. To assist patients and improve access, the Memorial Health Foundation is providing $10,000 to the medical transportation program operated by O’Neill Center.

According to Terry L. Zdrale, Executive Director of O’Neill Center, demand for transportation to these and other important medical services has increased steadily, correlating with the growing elderly population of Washington County. According to 2010 census data, 24.2% of the total county population was over age 60 - higher than the State average of 20%. According to census projections by Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University, the 60+ segment of the county’s population is expected to jump to 32% by 2020; and to a staggering 37.9% by 2030.

“Convenient access to healthcare is a top priority of our health system,” says Daneka Hedges, Director of the Memorial Health Foundation. “We continue to expand locations and services to make it easier for our community, but we know it can still be difficult for some. The Memorial Health Foundation and its board of directors is pleased to support the O’Neill Center’s very important program. We know that regular check-ups help physicians and patients stay on top of their health and identify concerns more quickly, which can make them less threatening to a person’s overall health. ”

O’Neill Center’s transportation program, which serves all of Washington County, assisted 267 individuals in 2012. Of the 12,810 trips completed, 3,336 were for medical appointments, testing or treatment. The Memorial Health System and its affiliated physicians topped the list of medical destinations with the Strecker Cancer Center, Outpatient Services and the Wound Center being the top three destinations. “Seniors often find they can no longer drive due to physical and/or physiological limitations. Patients receiving cancer treatment may become too ill to drive after treatment. And, we occasionally meet someone who never learned to drive”, Zdrale said.

For more information on the transportation program, call the O’Neill Center at 740-373-3914.
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