State Grant Expands Transportation Access for Home Health Aides

Through a collaboration with a community group, a New York home health provider is providing affordable transportation to its aides serving clients on Long Island. 

Partners in Care, an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, is partnering with the Long Island Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods (LI-CAN) to widen its services to provide home health to elderly and disabled persons living in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

A grant from the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), a $234,124 allocation from the New York Metropolitan Transit Council awarded jointly to Partners in Care and LI-CAN is making it possible for the partners to subsidize bus and livery services home health aides typically use to reach their clients on Long Island.

This would help to eliminate much of the financial and logistical problems faced by aides, allowing them to focus fully on improving their clients’ health and well-being, according to Partners in Care.

“Long Island is a growing service for our home health aides but providing affordable transportation has been a major obstacle,” said Marki Flannery, president of Partners in Care. “This grant will make it possible for more of Long Island’s seniors to live well at home and age in place, and for other vulnerable populations to get the care they need.”

The two-year grant kicks in this fall and covers all forms of transportation. The state funding is also augmented by additional partnerships with local taxi and car services, which have agreed to reimburse Partners in Care at a discount rate.

In an effort to increase the number of professionally trained and screened home health aides to services the island’s rapidly growing elderly and chronically ill populations, Partners in Care recently unveiled a new training and recruitment facility in Hicksville, NY. 

“The challenges of living far from family and the difficulty of hiring home health aides to provide care because of the lack of affordable transportation, makes aging on Long Island daunting. This grant and access to an increased number of aides because of the new training and recruitment facility changes that picture,” said Carol Blumenthal, who holds a Chair with Engaging with Aging, an initiative of LI-CAN. 

Written by Jason Oliva