When it comes to accessing affordable, quality medical care a number of roadblocks can often stand in a patient’s way to wellness.

But a new pilot program launched at our Oneonta medical center seeks to remove one of those frequent barriers to care.

Recently, we received a grant from the Community Foundation of Otsego County to help provide much-needed transportation assistance to patients with an appointment to and from our Oneonta Medical Center.

Patients who live in the more remote regions of our service area experience many social  determinants of health barriers — including transportation issues — that can lead to missed appointments, delays in needed care, gaps in treatment plans, and long-term issues that could have been avoided if caught earlier.

Many of our patients’ lives can be  hectic and unpredictable. That can mean transportation to and from a medical appointment is often a last-minute decision many of our  patients have to make based on their circumstances — at that particular time, on that particular day.

As part of the new Oneonta medical center program, however, transportation assistance will be available to patients in the form of a physical ride with a local transportation vendor, a gas card or a bus pass.

The new initiative is an important part of our ongoing commitment to ensure and expand access to quality care for patients on an individual, personalized basis.

And our goal is to eventually expand the Oneonta pilot program, so that transportation assistance is available to patients who visit any of our five local medical centers.